LACEY HISTORICAL COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
February 4, 2013 6:00 p.m.
Lacey City Hall- Council Chambers
Commission: Rosalie Raps Melnick, Ken Dean, Shirley Binkley, Kimberley Bauman, Kristina Trebil, Stefanie Deyette, and Ariana Rivera.
Staff: Lori Flemm, Amber Raney
Public: Diane Dean, Ken Balsley, Lee Thompson, Bob Bregent, Ken Mauermann, and Tiffany Fox
Historical Society: Shirley Dziedzic and Nora Brown
The meeting was called to order at 6:04 p.m. by Rosalie Raps Melnick.
a) Addition: 8c—Thurston County Through the Decades, Diane Dean, time permitting
b) Deletion: 9a—Table discussion until next meeting
The January 7, 2013 minutes were approved and placed on record.
Stefanie was officially appointed to the Lacey Historical Commission at the January 10, 2013 Lacey City Council meeting.
a) Public Comment on the draft Lacey Museum at the Depot Master Plan: Lori opened the discussion by introducing Diane Dean, Chair of Depot Committee since July 2009. She reported that the commissioners had been working on the Master Plan in earnest since May of 2012. She reminded those present that she will be accepting comments through February 20, and provided a brief history of the planning process to date.
Rosalie reviewed the rules of procedure for the public hearing.
Lee Thompson asked if the BNSF could really take the land back at some point, and whether it was a likely possibility. Lori responded that the tracks were acquired through the Railway Abandonment Act, and that they could take the land back but that it is not likely. Not many businesses lie west of the tracks that would use the railroad. She stated that the City of Lacey feels confident that this will not be a problem.
Ken Balsley provided a written report on the history of the current museum building, the Lacey Civic Club, and his involvement in the project. He stated that while he is excited about the project and can think of nothing better for the city, he has two concerns. The first was addressed in his written comments, and involved placing this information into the record as the history is discussed in the Master Plan. The second is that he would like to see a plan for the current museum building discussed in the Master Plan for the new museum. He wanted to make sure that the historical plantings and the importance of the building are not lost and forgotten or neglected.
Bob Bregent was responsible for coordinating the work done to construct the Amtrak Station on Yelm Highway, which was constructed with $1million of donated funds, materials, labor, and equipment; without using any public funds. He reiterated that the tracks and land can be taken back by the BNSF at any time it is needed for rail purposes. A group, including himself, is actively pursuing bringing the Sounder (passenger rail) to Olympia with Sound Transit, and that rail corridor could be used for that purpose. He also mentioned that he would be happy to help with the funding strategy as the project progresses and contribute any of his expertise that the commissioners felt could be useful.
Ken Mauermann volunteers at the Amtrak Station, and was also involved in constructing the building. He stated that he supports the new museum project.
Shirley Dziedzic stated that the Lacey Historical Society is reserving comments until after Lori attends the Trustees meeting on February 14. Bob Krier is reviewing the document and will provide a written report for the rest of the trustees.
Diane Dean reported that she is thrilled to have so much public support. She stated that she is excited about the project and the idea of seeing the museum along Pacific.
Lori mentioned that two written comments were received prior to tonight’s meeting that will be entered into the record: one from Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint requesting restrooms for trailhead users and one from Commissioner Kristina Trebil suggesting revisions to the Executive Summary composition.
The public comment portion of the meeting was closed at 6:32 p.m.
Lori then opened the floor to discussion on ideas for the current museum building upon completion of the new museum.
Ken Balsley stated that while the building is not appropriate to house a museum collection, it could be rented out for meeting space. He did not want to see it used for only storage. He wanted to make sure that the public have access to the grounds and a reason to be there.
Shirley Dziedzic hopes that everyone remember that the Lacey Museum and Women’s Club are historic landmarks in the community. She stated that this is the heart of historic Lacey, and the uniqueness of that block needs to be part of a larger, long-range concept.
Diane Dean expanded on Shirley’s comments, adding that the new museum should be the center of the historic area which really stretches from the McKinney building to Saint Martin’s. She said that she is actively thinking about options.
Shirley Binkley added that she would really like to see Lacey have its own art museum—maybe not in that building, but to be a project on its own somewhere.
Lori added that she envisioned the space being used for meetings, possibly as a research facility, or for a master gardener class which she feels would be an ideal location with the historical plantings on the grounds.
Amber reported that she had always thought it would be an ideal place to pay tribute to the city’s history since the structure played such an integral part in the formation of the City of Lacey. She also mentioned that art could be displayed there, but not stored, except for the fact that there is no fire suppression system. That would have to be addressed before the building could be used in that way.
b) Lacey Historical Society: No other report at this time.
c) Others: No report.
a) Lori received two written comments regarding the Master Plan.
1. Kristina sent comments that Lori thanked her for and that resulted in a new version of the Executive Summary, which Lori distributed to those present. Kristina stated that often people don’t read past the Executive Summary in a plan, and that it needed to contain a summary of all pertinent information.
2. Dusty Pierpoint wrote to verify that trailhead restrooms would be available in the new plan.
b) Lori also received a letter from Rosalie regarding a presentation that Amber gave to the JET Breakfast group at Panorama. She commended Amber on a job well-done. In addition to this, she included a clipping from a magazine that advertised custom train cabooses for sale, built for any needs. Rosalie stated that it was worth looking into as the depot plans are finalized.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Lori distributed the updated calendar for 2013. The calendar was held pending dates for Thurston County Through the Decades and the Lacey Historical Society’s Annual Meeting, which will be the last Tuesday in September, September 24.
a) Discuss public comment on draft of Museum Master Plan: Rosalie thanked the public once again for their participation. Ken stated that the Lacey Museum at the Depot is going to be the start of something much greater—an anchor of the historical area. He said that the old building will be a part of that but that the focus now needs to be the new museum. Stefanie loves the idea of an art museum as another cultural aspect.
Lori asked for opinions on charging admission fees. Ken Balsley stated that he was opposed to the idea. He said that we could sell memberships with perks instead. Rosalie stated that we could have prominent donation boxes. Tiffany Fox from the McCleary Historical Society said that admission fees are a bad idea. She stated that there are so few places where citizens can go that don’t cost money, and putting a price on admission would discourage attendance and make history unavailable to the public. Bob Bregent also stated that he did not believe admission fees are a good idea.
b) General Commissioner Recruitment: There remains one additional vacancy after Stefanie’s appointment. Amber contacted Ann, the retired teacher who attended the December meeting, but she is unable to participate on the Lacey Historical Commission at this time. There is recruitment information available on the City of Lacey website.
c) Thurston County Through the Decades: Diane reported that she received correspondence from Anne Kelleher regarding the program and stated that there will be no event held in May, but sent proposal dates for future events with requests for volunteers. Further discussion of this item was tabled until the March meeting.
No new business at this time.
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS
Depot: Diane requested that the Depot Committee be disbanded in favor of the larger, more inclusive Lacey Museum at the Depot Steering Committee. She mentioned that of the original Depot Committee members, only she and Ken remain. Ken moved that
Motion: To disband the original Depot Committee and defer to the Lacey Museum at the Depot Steering Committee.
The motion was seconded and discussion followed. The motion passed unanimously.
STAFF / MUSEUM REPORT
1. Amber presented “The Story of Lacey” Power Point to the JET group at Panorama on Tuesday, January 15. Attendance was twice the normal amount, and several stayed after the presentation to discuss history and memories. It was a very successful presentation.
2. Amber reported that she is revisiting the Fleetwood Collection, working on an inventory and database of artifacts and photographs. As the storyline for the new museum develops, it is necessary to have a complete list of all items that are available for use. Amber reported that Stefanie has begun the artifact portion of the collection, while she has been working on the photographs and negatives. She scanned in over 300 large format negatives, most of the images previously unused in any publication or exhibit.
3. On Tuesday, January 29, Amber presented her final report to the Thurston County Commissioners during their regular meeting at the Thurston County Courthouse. She provided copies of the report to the Lacey Historical Commissioners.
4. On Sunday, February 10, Amber and Lanny will be opening an event as part of Lacey Loves to Read month. They will be sharing Lacey history and how it relates to characters and stories in one of the books written by the selected author, Jennifer Holm. The book, Our Only May Amelia, centers on a young girl growing up along the Naselle River in Washington State in 1899. Amber and Lanny will use the Kenney Twins to begin discussion and to describe various means of teaching history. The presentation will begin at 1:30 at the Garden Room at the restaurant at Panorama and is open to the public.
Stefanie reported that she works for Target, and that she is aware that they donate to communities. She asked if the commissioners would consider this a worthwhile endeavor to pursue. Lori stated that she felt it was a good conversation to have. Stefanie agreed to discuss the issue with her contacts there.
Ariana reported that as Youth Representative, her duties include presenting Lacey history to elementary and middle school classrooms in the North Thurston Public Schools. She announced that she has her first presentation scheduled for Friday, February 22, and she is very excited about it. She will report on this at the March meeting.
Rosalie reminded the commissioners about the presentation that she and Amber recorded for Panorama Closed Circuit Television, and mentioned that Ken Balsley is slated to record a talk about how Lacey became a city. Ken gives historical tours to community leaders around Thurston County, and offered to take the members of the Lacey Historical Commission.
a) Lori distributed the new roster of commissioners with Stefanie added to it.
b) Lori also asked for clarification on what the JET Breakfast is about. Rosalie stated that she couldn’t remember exactly what the letters represented, but that she thought it was Join, Enjoy, and Together. The breakfasts begin at 8:00 at Panorama and include a choice of four different breakfasts and entertainment of some kind—musicians, speakers, etc.
c) On February 1, 2012 Lori received a memo from Jennifer Kenney with the Olympia Heritage Commission requesting nominations for potential oral history interviews. Lori wanted to ascertain whether the project took place. No one was aware of its status at this time.
Meeting adjourned at 7:23 p.m.
Monday, March 4, 2013, 6:00 p.m. at Lacey City Hall