- Catherine Callahan, Chair
- Lorraine Tindaro, Vice-Chair
- Mark Evans, Secretary
- Dawn Coughlan
- Paul Stephens
- Leah Jennings
- Patty DeFroscia (Excused)
- Tony Wagner (Excused)
- Karen Marshall
- Bob Wise
- Paul Mullin
- Mike Bedrick
Due an issue with the Zoom Login, the meeting was called to order late, by Secretary Evans at 7:48PM, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Mark E announced that the meeting was being recorded to expedite transcription of minutes, and continued with Members Roll Call, and Introduction of Guests.
Approval of 7/15/20 Minutes
Mark E asked for a motion for approval of the minutes of the 7/15/20 Meeting.
Motion moved by Cathy C, second by Paul Stephens.
Vote called by Mark E.
Motion passed unanimously.
- EDGE’S MILL HISTORIC DISTRICT PRESENTATION
- Mark E turned the meeting over to Karen Marshall of CCHC, and Bob Wise of RGA.
Paul S said that he had the same question that he had before, that he wanted to confirm that this is not the actual National Register nomination that will be submitted, this is only for the DOE. He understood that any extra costs will be determined on the comments coming back from the State Historic Preservation Office, but asked if there was some kind of idea what those costs might run? He felt the overall quoted fee for the DOE is very reasonable, but can we get an idea of where this might end up overall - if they think this is true of what it might be, or if there’s more in the way of costs that the Township might incur. Bob Wise stated that since the proposal went out in January, their rates had gone up, so the quote would already be raised to $6170 as opposed to $5995. Karen M asked if the DOE is less fraught with drama then the National Registry nomination. Bob replied yes. He said this particular DOE has already been through the PHMC, so they hope it will be smoother than most. There are two things: 1. They could come back and ask for a little more information. 2. They could come back and say “on second thought, we no longer think it’s eligible”. He said he wouldn’t be proposing the project if he didn’t think they could get it through, but added that they can always come back and ask for more information, and RGA has no control over that. They know what they’re doing and hope there would be no more costs. Anything requested above-and-beyond what the PHC requested for Beaver Creek would be above and beyond what they’re budgeted for, that they don’t expect that to happen, and that it shouldn’t happen. Paul S asked for confirmation that any additional costs will be at hourly rate. Bob S said that it should be only time and materials, but it could be more extensive, at which time he would go back to PHC be to ask that if they think it’s eligible, that those particulars be held out and addressed at the National Registry nomination, and that is usually what happens: the PHMC gives the DOE, and in the National Registry process, it is asked to be proven. Paul S asked if next step is taking the DOE application and put it into the National Registry nomination. Bob said yes, but that the DOE introduces the subject, the State comes back and says they agree, with the caveat that for National Registry consideration you will need to add “the following specifics”.
Bob clarified that their cost proposal was only for the State DOE, and that preparing the National Registry nomination would incur more costs.
Cathy said that she’s been told a number of times that it’s already a done deal. Karen said they’ve been assured that “if this is written correctly that it will go right through from eligible to nomination”. Bob said he’s never seen it happen that way before, that he budgeted for a DOE only.
Karen asked if we can request a pre-project meeting with PHC so that Bob can hear what she and Cathy have been told by them about the odds of the project going through. She doesn’t want him to move forward with the project until he’s heard what they’ve already said.
Paul S said that we need the DOE either way, and there may be more expenses for the National Registry, but that this appeared to be reasonable, is the next step, and thought we should have a motion to recommend this.
Mark E thanked Bob for his transparency, given that that we had been under the belief that it was “pay the money and go straight to registry”. He understands budgets, and that there’s always additional costs, but wanted to know the worst-best-probable projections for step one (DOE)? He added that the Hx Com would be going before a BOC to ask for funds from a Township that’s already given close to $100K to the Hx Com during a pandemic [*after reviewing the minutes, Hx Com President Cathy Callahan asked that there be clarification that the money was not given directly to the Hx Com, but towards projects that the Hx Com recommended]. Bob’s response was the same as he’d given earlier. Paul S asked what range he’s seen with similar projects. Bob said it could be double to 4 or 5 times more. Karen again said that she wanted Bob to hear what PHC has said, and that “he request a meeting with them at the request of the Hx Com, he’s been contracted to develop the DOE and they would like to know based on conversations they’ve had with one of the Hx Com members and Karen Marshall, what exactly are they talking about in terms of additional costs of moving to an actual National Registry nomination. If he gets blank stares, then we’ve got out answer”.
Paul S said that it’s important to have something actionable, because if personnel changes up there, it over.
Bob said he’s never done anything like that before. Cathy asked about how our Mill compares to Bondsville Mill, and if that can go through, shouldn’t ours? Bob said he’ll see what they have to say.
Cathy asked if additional costs can be covered by homeowners. Karen said the Hx Com could always go public/private partnership. Mark E jumped in to say yes, there should be a pre-meeting. He stated that Bondsville is municipally owned, Edge’s Mill are privately owned homes. Caln is having serious issues with flooding, going before the BOC in public, with people who have just had to have their basements pumped, and saying we need minimum $6k, and possibly a blank check to get 6 privately owned homes “maybe onto the National Registry” will not go over well. It needs to be pitched properly, well thought-out and well planned going in there. Paul S suggested that having Bob try to get a handle on what the odds are from the state is the best way to go. We need to have a fair sense of what we’re asking the Township to commit to. Karen suggested Bob reach out to Cory. Karen reiterated that Bob had said that we don’t need to be on the National Registry to reap many of the benefits. That we’ll be on the County Map, etc.
Mike B reacted to Mark’s recommendation for how to pitch it to the BOC, bullet points, etc. What are the benefits to the Township if we spend this money? Someone will say why are we doing this during Covid? This is an asset that could be jeopardized if not preserved, because it can be added to a list of Historic Tours that will make us a historic destination that will generate income for our businesses and tax revenue for the Township.
Cathy stated that after meeting with Kristen Denne, she knows the money is there for this; that the Township has never spent any money on the Hx Com; and why wouldn’t anyone want national recognition. Mike B concurred with Mark E that getting it through the BOC could be a challenge, especially during Covid-19, and that Marketing was the key. Karen M likes the idea of Lincoln Highway as a “Gateway” to History, thinks that “little Beaver Creek could become the mouse that roared”, and with the beautiful preservation being done right up the road at Bondsville Mill, we do have “The Gateway”. She really likes the idea of selling Caln’s “points of pride”: the schoolhouse & the barn are “Beacons of Pride”. It was suggested that Bob Wise connect with Elizabeth Rawley and Cory Kingeress, to look more deeply into the odds of Edge’s Mill getting the DOE, and what that timeline might look like. Karen M stated that Bob will know right away, especially if Cory starts talking about further research.
Paul S asked for a motion to have Bob Wise contact the State Historic Preservation Office, to try to ascertain what effort it will take, beyond the DOE, to get this project nominated to the National Register, and that he come back to us with an approximation of what those additional expenses may be, if identifiable through his initial conversation.
There was discussion as to whether Hx Com members who own properties in the proposed Historic District need to recuse themselves on the vote. All agreed that they should recuse. Being that we still had a quorum, the motion proceeded.
Motion by Mark E. 2nd by Lorraine T.
Mark E called the vote.
Motion passed unanimously
Bob Wise said that he would email Cathy C with any progress. Mark E asked that he be cc’d on any documentation as he is the secretary. Bob said that he would. At this point, Karen and Bob left the meeting. Mark E thanked everyone for their patience and determination. Paul M mentioned that he loved the “Beacons of Pride” idea. Dawn loved “The Gateway”.
2. MEMBERSHIP AND ATTENDENCE
Mark E stated that while he had hoped to announce that Mike Bedrick was being added to our membership, unfortunately the Township Handbook forbids any relative of a Commissioner to be appointed as a “member” of a Commission, or to be hired by the Township. They can, however participate in our discussions and be involved with Sub-Committees. He said that Mike has brought valuable insight as a guest, and we hope he will continue to do so. Mike said that he understood, policy is policy, and must be respected. He will gladly continue to serve.
3. SUB COMMITTEE REPORTS
- SPACKMAN FARM
- Mark E noted that Kristen Denne has approved the Hx Com tour of Spackman Farm, that it is restricted to Commission members due to insurance reasons, and must be on a weekday when Mike Fragale is working. Potential dates: 8/26 all day, 8/28 until 1:30, 8/31 all day, 9/2 all day. All agreed that Friday the 28th from 10:00 AM-noon would work best.
- Paul S mentioned that Karen Marshall was not able to do the tour, but that a woman from her Technical Sub-Committee might be able to, that it was the sort of thing the SC does. He will follow up, and see if she is covered under County Liability Insurance as a committee member. Cathy C stated that Spackman should be on the National Registry.
- Mark E asked if anyone had spent time with the Kings Highway Masterplan, and suggested that we all get close to it so that once the roof is on the barn we can just keep moving forward.
- Dawn C announced there is a new roof on the Schoolhouse, all but the Cupola has been completed, that the Township will finish the work on the Cupola as per Paul S’s recommendations. Leah J expressed concern that the Cupola is sitting on the ground unprotected from thieves, that it could be stolen in a second. Mark said he will follow up with Mike Fragale.
- Mark encouraged everyone to take a second to acknowledge all that we’ve been able to accomplish since January, even during Covid. Schoolhouse Roof, Paint, Interior… we should be excited that we’re doing things.
- MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA Tony W was unable to access the meeting, so there was no formal report. Mark E asked that the 4 sub-committee members have a conversation prior to the next full Com meeting to consider some of what Karen Marshall and Mike B had brought, including “The Gateway to History”, “Beacons of Pride”, “Historic Caln Township”, rather than having people wondering “what’s Caln Township?” It was agreed this would happen. Mark encouraged everyone to check out the Caln Website to see some of the great progress that’s been made by Tony working with Abby.
- HISTORICAL PRESERVATION Cathy reported that she and Leah had spent about 5 hours working on this. Very excited. Cathy attended a luncheon pre-Covid where Karen M had suggested we look at New Garden Township and East Brandywine resources, which they did, and are coming up with a million different ideas to make Caln wonderful. They’ve been considering the language for an ordinance, relying on East Brandywine and New Garden’s current Ordinances. She stated that in 2019 the Hx Com had a freelancer attend a meeting to propose writing an ordinance, but it was very expensive. Mark added that the Ordinance will be written as part of the current Zoning Update Process, that it will be hardwired right in.
5. 2021 BUDGET DISCUSSION
- Mark E stated that we had until the end of August to get our Budget request in to the Township, and asked for suggestions from the group.
- Cathy and Leah would like to have money for Hx home signs, but that she’s been told it is the Society’s responsibility.
- Paul S thought we should have funds for Hx Com to join Statewide Preservation group and have one or two members have annual conference fee paid. Will pull together info and send it to Mark E.
- Mark thinks we’re best with going for a small number to cover memberships.
- Mike B recommended not formalizing repair costs in Budget so there’s no turf battles.
- Paul S announced that he was being nominated to be on the Chester County Preservation Network Board. Everyone was thrilled, expressed their support, and that we are honored to work with him. Paul responded that he’s honored to serve with serve with folks who were interested in local resources and histories, and that if appointed, he will be the official liaison for Caln, Coatesville, East Fallowfield, Valley, Sadsbury and West Caln.
- Paul S asked if there was an update of when the roof project may be starting. Mark apologized for not including that in the Spackman Farm Sub Com report. The BOC approved for Bryan K to book advertisements for bids and that they will be in the DLN on 8/24 and 8/31 (?) and that the bid should be awarded by the BOC meeting 9/24, knock on wood. He added that the bids were already on the State platform.
Mark E asked for a motion to adjourn.
Moved by Paul S, second by Leah J
Mark E called the vote.
Motion passed 6-0.
Meeting adjourned at 9:08 PM.