Matthews redefines its historic preservation outlook

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A Historic Preservation Task Force appointed by Matthews Mayor Lee Myers has completed their work and presented their recommendations to the Matthews Board of Commissioners tonight.

The group began meeting in November 2008. They were charged with answering three questions: What is the future of the history in Matthews? Do we need a plan to preserve the history of Matthews? If so, what should the plan look like and whose responsibility is it to preserve the history of Matthews?

The Task Force was co-chaired by Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Taylor and Paula Lester of the Matthews Historical Foundation. The group made the following recommendations:

1. Yes – the history of the Town needs to be preserved and protected.

2. The group recommended establishing a Historic Preservation Advisory Committee that would include members of the Matthews Historical Foundation and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

3. The group recommended that a comprehensive historic preservation plan be developed for the Town. It would include short, mid and long term goals. The plan should include: locating a temporary facility to store current and future historic artifacts; develop a plan for a permanent facility to showcase the Town’s history; examine the boundaries of the current Matthews Historic District and determine if these boundaries should be expanded; identify historic preservation funding and grant opportunities.

4. The group also recommended that the mission of preserving the Town should be the responsibility of the Town Board with the assistance of the new Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and the Matthews Historical Foundation.

“Preserving the history of Matthews will be an ongoing process that begins with these recommendations from the Task Force. These recommendations set the foundation for preservation for now and the future. Preserving our history does not prevent future development but rather can enhance that development by incorporating both the past and the future as we work to retain our heritage and move forward,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Taylor.

“I am pleased about the establishment of the Matthews Historical Preservation Committee. This commitment to history and preservation is a necessary building block in the town’s overall plan. Incorporating historic properties into future development creates a unique town while allowing us to be progressive. The Matthews Historical Preservation Committee, working with the Matthews Historical Foundation, and other local history groups will have the ability to preserve and protect our history as well as our local artifacts,” said Paula Lester, Co-Chair of the Task Force.

The Matthews Board of Commissioners did vote to move forward with the first step in this process by establishing the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. If you are interested in participating on this committee please contact the Matthews Town Clerk Jill Pleimann at jpleimann@matthewsnc.com or call her at 704-847-4411 ext. 231.

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