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Meeting focuses on ins, outs of historic preservation rules


Allen Baswell



Community historic preservation committees can help secure money to protect landmarks, but they must follow certain rules and regulations, according to Bill Gatlin of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. 


Gatlin, along with Michelle Jones of MDAH, presented a program on historical preservation Friday at the Columbus Public Library. Nancy Carpenter of the Columbus Heritage Foundation was present, along with historic preservation representatives from Aberdeen, West Point, and Corinth. 


Gatlin, an architectural historian and National Register of Historic Places coordinator for MDAH, said historic preservation begins with a partnership between federal, state and local entities. 


Among the federal entities include the National Park Service, state entities are departments of archives and history, and the local city and county historical preservation organizations. 


Gatlin said through these partnerships, local communities can become part of a federal program known as Certified Local Government, which allows them to determine what can be designated as landmarks for preservation. 


"By being part of the Certified Local Government program, local communities can apply for grants for preservation efforts," he said. 


Gatlin stressed the need of communities establishing bylaws and regulations as to how they will conduct business. 


Jones gave a presentation on ho local preservation committees should conduct meetings, how to post notices of meetings in newspapers and other outlets. 


"You should also make sure your meeting room is set up properly and make sure that the chairperson remains impartial, especially when it comes to making decisions regarding preservation efforts," she said.


Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch



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