The Coastal Star

Boynton Beach: City steps up path to historic preservation

By Margie Plunkett

Boynton Beach’s city manager is contemplating history — more specifically whether to proceed with an ad hoc committee’s recommendation to create a Historic Preservation Board and to hire a preservation planner to run the show.
City Manager Kurt Bressner was directed by commission to consider the plan laid out by Warren Adams of the ad hoc committee at the Dec. 7 meeting, and come back with recommendations for the panel.
“I’m in favor of jumpstarting this and getting it going,” said Commission Woodrow Hay as he moved to accept the ad hoc committee’s report.
In the last year, the Historic Preservation Ad Hoc Committee has created a historic preservation ordinance and was awarded $1,100 in grant funds by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In addition to creating a historic preservation board and appointing a full-time historic preservation planner, the committee recommended applying for certified local government status and creation of a grant fund and a local historic preservation register.
Under a suggested timeline, a planner would be selected by midyear 2011 and initial tasks would include identifying potential historic buildings and districts, drafting application forms and establishing fees, informing departments and acting as a point of contact for residents and business owners.
The full historic preservation program would be implemented in 2012. While the planner’s salary would be about $50,000 annually, the portion of a planner’s salary paid during the first fiscal year would equal just a quarter of that, $12,500.
The commission separately approved a contract with REG Architects for up to $65,000 for “historic high school redevelopment services.”
The city started negotiating with REG Architects in October after responses to a request for qualifications that sought a consultant. Respondents are required to:
• Create a summary update of expected costs for basic renovation.
• Identify a list of prospective uses via a process that involves the public.
• Prepare an evaluation of funding mechanisms.
• Prepare a timeline for implementation.

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