Preserving downtown

 The city of New Albany is looking for a few good people with an interest in preservation efforts in the downtown area.

The Board of Alderman is trying to resurrect the Certified Local Government program that the city adopted in 2007 but never got off the ground.

In fact, through the fault of no one in particular as far as we can tell, the committee named to supervise the program never met.

According to Mayor Tim Kent two of the five previous members resigned and none of the members took the initiative to move forward. That’s why Alderman-at-large Scott Dunnam proposed starting over with a new committee.

It’s important to have a Certified Local Government program, which is funded through the Historic Preservation Division of the state Department of Archives and History.

Through the state, aid is available to people who would like to restore their property back to its original appearance. And there are annual grants available to help with historic preservation projects.

The city will be seeking applicants during the next couple of weeks to serve on the committee.

Members must own property or a business in the city and they serve a three-year term.

Last time around, the alderman named one person from each aldermanic district. We would rather see the board get a list of folks who are truly interested in preservation and select from that list.

Getting a good group committed to working hard to obtain state money for preservation and improving downtown is the important thing. The district a person lives in should not be a factor in the selection.

Some communities have made a significant impact on their downtowns through this program. We need to catch up.