LACEY HISTORICAL COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
March 4, 2013 6:00 p.m.
Lacey City Hall- Council Chambers
Commission: Rosalie Raps Melnick, Ken Dean, Kimberley Bauman, Kristina Trebil, Stefanie Deyette, and Ariana Rivera.
Absent: Shirley Binkley
Staff: Lori Flemm and Amber Raney. Samra Seymour, Community Development Dept.
Public: Diane Dean, Mari Fleetwood, Ken Balsley, Lee Thompson,
Historical Society: Shirley Dziedzic and Michael O’Keefe
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Rosalie Raps Melnick.
No additions or deletions to the agenda.
The February 4, 2013 minutes were approved and placed on record.
Lori read aloud a letter of resignation submitted by Amber Raney on March 1, 2013. Her last day with the City of Lacey will be Friday, March 15, 2013. Amber has been an excellent Museum Curator and we will miss her very much.
a) Public Comment on the draft Lacey Museum at the Depot Master Plan: Lori announced that the Master Plan will be discussed in greater detail under item 8a. Amber introduced Mari Fleetwood. Mari and her husband, Lyman, donated literally hundreds of items to the Lacey Museum over the years with the bulk arriving between 2007 and 2009. Mari asked for a status update on the Depot Project. Lori stated that city staff is negotiating a contract with MerrittArch. Jim Merritt’s scope of work and fee proposal exceeded the City’s budget and that the details regarding the scope of work are being discussed among city staff. She also reported that the intent is still to open the Lacey Museum at the Depot on December 5, 2016. She stated that our hope is to fill Amber’s position and this is just a “speed bump.” The City Manager reviews all vacant positions, and approves recruitment. Shirley Dziedzic stated that she is glad the City of Lacey will continue to work with MerrittArch.
Samra Seymour stated that this master planning process differs significantly from the process used by the Planning Commission. She asked for clarification on what is meant in the Master Plan schedule by “Interim Master Plan.” Lori replied that the plan will be approved by the Historical Commission at tonight’s meeting or at the next meeting, but is a “work in progress” while the full schematic plan and cost estimate is developed by MerrittArch. She stated that the goal is to have a document ready to allow eligibility for grant submissions. Samra asked whether there would be future opportunities for more public comment as the plan moves through the process and Lori responded that there would be. Samra thanked Lori for the clarification.
b) Lacey Historical Society: Shirley reported that she is excited for Amber but saddened at the loss for the City of Lacey and the Lacey Historical Society. Regarding the Master Plan, Shirley reported that she was pleased to have Lori and Amber come and speak to the Historical Society meeting on February 14. She stated that there will be a follow-up meeting concerning the financial portion of the Master Plan upon Bob Krier’s return. In addition, she reported that there are two local banks eager to contribute to the Depot Project once information begins circulating. The Lacey Historical Society is eager to help. Shirley stated that future society newsletters will include a one-page timetable with depot updates and that the mailing list reaches 600 homes. Michael added that the newsletter can act as a vehicle to promote the project.
c) Others: No other comments at this time.
a) Annual City Council Work Session with Lacey Historical Commission was held on February 21: Ken reported that he presented goals and covered achievements to the Lacey City Council. The report was well-received by the council and adopted. Rosalie thanked Ken for making the presentation in her absence. Ken stated that the councilmembers are all very excited about the Depot Project.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Calendar Update: The Lacey Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lacey Community Center.
a) Discuss public comment on draft of Museum Master Plan and approve Interim Master Plan: Ken Balsley asked if public access would be possible if the current museum were used as an interim rental facility. Lori asked that the question be tabled until later in the Section III discussion about options for the current museum.
Lori distributed the Master Plan for Avonlea Park as an example of a “typical” master plan for parks and recreation facilities. She stated that park master plans follow a format that includes 1) a report, 2) a cost estimate, and 3) a site plan, often called a “Master Plan.” She indicated that the entire document can be the Master Plan, or just that drawing, which she believes may cause confusion. She hoped that if anyone was confused about the verbiage this would help clarify. She further stated that for other master plans the process has been to have the Park Board approve of the master plan, and if necessary to meet grant deadlines on an interim basis, with cost estimating progressing prior to adoption. She noted that there is a significant difference in the number of pages between the Museum Master Plan and that of Avonlea Park as a result of the history section and the inclusion of items specific to the project. The report will be used for a variety of purposes, not just grant-writing, including a record of the planning process. She stated that this master plan is following the typical process used in the Parks and Recreation Dept. The Historical Commission will approve this master plan instead of the Park Board, and the City Council adopts it.
Mari reported that Amber made a promise to Lyman in 2009 just prior to his death that some portion of the new museum would be named for the Fleetwood Family. Lori stated that the promise would be documented in the master plan and that she would find an appropriate location tonight. Amber stated that she will complete the accession paperwork acknowledging the donation prior to her last day of work.
Attention then turned to the February 21, 2013 Draft of the Lacey Museum at the Depot Master Plan. Lori stated that the discussion was not centered on typos or grammatical errors at this time, but hoped we could focus discussion on the options for the current museum in Section III. She reported that many additions came from Bob Krier, Kristina, and Ken Balsley that resulted in the new Executive Summary, which is intended to be a stand-alone document.
The commissioners discussed Section III—Strategic Direction. Lori added greater detail regarding the community effort surrounding the first museum and she also added 13 options regarding future use of the current building. Each was discussed and either dismissed or determined to be a viable option. From the draft distributed at this meeting and dated 3/4/2013 2/17/2013 draft, #s 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 were dismissed while #s 1, 2, 3, 5 (as revised), 6, and 8 (as revised) were considered to be viable options. Number 7 was stricken from the list, and “trailhead restroom” was stricken from number 8. Number 5 had a sentence added that reads, “Insure that the garden would remain open to the public.” The Commissioners felt that number 3 is a lower priority option.
Michael O’Keefe reported that there may be restrictions on moving the building as stated in the original deed with the Women’s Club. Ken Balsley agreed that there is a deed that prohibits the movement of the building from its present location and states that the land will revert back to the Women’s Club in the event that the building is no longer used as a museum. Michael asked if he could take a look at the deed. Lori reported that City Attorney, Ken Ahlf, reviewed the deed after the depot proposal was accepted by the council. She reported that the City of Lacey has fulfilled the terms originally stated in the deed. She stated that the City may not lose the land if the building is moved, based on how the deed is worded. Ken Balsley disagreed with this statement. Michael, Ken Balsley, and Shirley each stated that it would be good to see the wording in the deed. Amber stated she did not have a copy and had never seen the deed. Lori stated that she thought the building belonged to the City of Lacey and the land belonged to the Women’s Club, who donated the land to the city so the building could be moved there. Shirley stated that it would be excellent public relations to discuss the situation with the Women’s Club. She expressed concerns that proceeding without having a dialogue with them would be a mistake. Shirley stated that it is good to have their support when making decisions regarding the present museum building.
Lori stated that we should not adopt the Museum Master Plan at tonight’s meeting, until we are able to review the deed and discuss the matter with the Lacey Women’s Club. Shirley suggested that she call a meeting with the past President of the Lacey Women’s Club for Lori, Ken Balsley, Michael, and herself. Lori said that she would ask the Assistant City Attorney to obtain and review at the deed.
Ken Dean asked about the memorial plantings at the museum that are maintained by the City of Lacey, what would happen to them if the building was moved and who would care for them. The commissioners determined that moving the building was not a viable option at this time, however, and the discussion ended.
Section III-7: Amber brought this section to the attention of the commission and reminded them that during the charrettes process last year, the use of Formations for exhibit design and fabrication was discussed and the group agreed that this was the direction they wanted to follow. The language in this section does not reflect that consensus. Lori stated that she would reword the paragraph.
b) General Commissioner Recruitment: There remains one additional vacancy after Stefanie’s appointment. Amber announced that she is seriously considering applying for this position. The Commissioners enthusiastically supported the announcement and would welcome Amber to the Commission.
c) Thurston County Through the Decades: Diane reported that the Tumwater Historical Association’s goal for this project is to include all members of the heritage groups throughout Thurston County, but they are having trouble finding groups to sponsor events. The May event for 2013 is cancelled due to this fact, but THA will sponsor the event in October to highlight the work of the Homesteaders. Diane asked the commissioners their opinion on whether or not Lacey should agree to host the event for May 2015. The years would be 1950-1975, and Diane said that this would be a great opportunity to highlight the Depot Project and discuss the fact that Lacey incorporated in 1966. The group would have two years to plan and possibly recruit a partner. Lori stated that Huntamer Park could be used again. Lee suggested that Panorama might be interested in getting involved as they were started in 1963. Diane agreed to act as chair again and Stefanie will serve as co-chair. Ken moved that:
Motion: Lacey Historical Commission will host the Thurston County Through the Decades event for May 2015.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Kristina and Kimberley both volunteered to help with the event. Lori suggested the possibility of a 50’s street dance in the evening, and Ken Balsley mentioned that the Corvette Club may be interested in getting involved, too.
Jacob Smith House Site Improvements Plan Review & Certificate of Appropriateness: Lori reported that since the Jacob Smith House is on the Lacey Register of Historic Places (and the State Register, too), the commissioners would need to provide a Certificate of Appropriateness regarding the plans for improvement and their compliance with the local register. She reported that the plans are not final and are two weeks behind schedule. No changes will be made to the structure as there are insufficient funds to replace the back porch. All other changes are to the site, including asphalt paving (concrete up to trellis) and a trellis in keeping with the character of the front porch of the Jacob Smith House. A concern was raised regarding the safety of the back porch. Lori stated that any board will be replaced as it is discovered to be rotten. There is no safety concern at this time.
AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORTS
Depot: No report at this time.
STAFF / MUSEUM REPORT
1. Amber reported that on February 7 she hosted a group of exchange students from Lacey’s Sister City in Poland, Mińsk Mazowiecki at the Lacey Museum. A group of six high school students and one teacher toured the facility and stayed for lunch as they have done for the past several years.
2. On Sunday, February 10, Amber and Lanny presented Lacey history to a group at Panorama in conjunction with the Lacey Loves to Read events. They shared how Lacey history 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. Using the Kenney Twins to begin discussion and to describe various means of teaching history, the presentation opened for general discussion. The event was well-attended, and a photograph appeared in The Olympian the following Monday.
3. Amber also reported that she is continuing to work with the Fleetwood Collection on an inventory and database of artifacts and photographs.
4. With the help of volunteers Stefanie, Lanny, and Susan Goff, Amber is working to ensure that all pieces of the collections are identified, labeled, and inventoried in the museum.
5. Finally, Amber reported that she accepted a job with the Secretary of State’s division of the Washington State Archives. Her last day with the City of Lacey will be Friday, March 15, 2013. She wished for the commissioners to know that the past eight years have been incredibly rewarding, and while she is excited about this new opportunity, it is not without some regret that she leaves the Lacey Museum behind. She reported that she joined the Lacey Historical Society and plans on being actively involved in that group. In addition, she is considering submitting an application to fill the current vacancy on the Lacey Historical Commission.
Ariana reported that as she has two presentations next week and six this month. She gave a practice presentation that went very well and is excited to begin. She will pick up the box of artifacts for the school presentations from Lori in city hall.
Lori thanked everyone for offering to help keep the museum open during this period of transition, and invited everyone to stay after the meeting for a celebration of Amber’s years of service to the City and citizens of Lacey.
Meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m. with everyone wishing Amber success in her new position.
Monday, April 1, 2013, 6:00 p.m. at Lacey City Hall