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City historian duties declared

Council extends Streetscape committee for year
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A new set of duties for the Auburn City Historian and another year of the Streetscape History and Art Advisory Committee were approved Monday night. Auburn City Council members voted unanimously to extend the term of the Streetscape Committee to July 31, 2011. At that time its term would once again go before City Council. Before the vote, the committee was scheduled to sunset this Saturday. Streetscape is a continuing street improvement and beautification project connecting the areas of Downtown and Old Town Auburn. Councilman Keith Nesbitt, chairman of the committee, said the group is working on finishing up Streetscape Phase 1, and also hopes to begin working on a guidebook future City Council members could use for the remaining seven phases if the committee disbands. “Probably by the end of August we will have Central Square wrapped up and be moving on to the next phases,” Nesbitt said during Monday’s meeting. Nesbitt said after phase 2 is finished, several years could go by before the next phase begins, so it could take many more years to complete all phases. Phase 2 is planned to commemorate Auburn arts and involves sidewalk and lighting improvements from the bus stop on Lincoln Way down to Pine Street, according to Nesbitt. Councilman Kevin Hanley said he hopes the committee will research each phase and find the appropriate photographs and names of influential groups who have been involved in each Streetscape area. “I think if we have another year, we would definitely like to do something (like that),” Nesbitt said. Hanley said he would like the committee to meet as long as possible to do the necessary research involved for each phase. Nesbitt said he doesn’t see why future City Council members would not follow the committee’s recommendations if it assembles a thoroughly researched guidebook. Councilman Dr. Bill Kirby said he agreed. “If the next project, phase 3, doesn’t occur for five years, I would expect the next City Council to sit down and look at that template, look at that guidebook,” Kirby said. Kirby said he thinks while focusing on influential groups is important, the committee should continue to work the names of specific people into its future phases. “Part of telling the story is through key individuals, having people say, ‘I can identify (with that),’” he said. The City Council also provided the City Historian with a specific list of duties. The tasks include maintaining the collection of photographs, maps and other historic material of Auburn, preparing written reports on historic buildings and institutions, assisting with the preparation of grant applications related to historic preservation and more, according to city documents. Councilman Mike Holmes said a list of operating procedures and a 2010/2011 work plan for the City Historian are necessary, because they were not outlined when the City Council approved the volunteer position in March 2002. “There were really no guidelines as to what the City Historian was supposed to do,” Holmes said. “This resolution … does give some clarity as to what we expect from a City Historian and also allows for an Assistant City Historian.” Holmes said the resolution, which was passed with a unanimous vote, would set up a four-year term for the position if a new candidate were approved by City Council. Holmes also said he would be interested in the city turning the old City Hall building into a museum after organizing the documents kept in the current City Hall basement. Loreley Hodkin, the city’s current historian, said she likes the idea of a center for Auburn’s historic artifacts, but she hopes to get more volunteer help with her duties. Hodkin said she has already done at least 50 historic reports in her eight years as historian, found the State Theatre marquee, produced three big artifact exhibits, discovered numerous historic maps, collected 500 photos of Auburn’s history and procured several lithographs of the early days of Auburn. One of the historian’s duties will include coordinating joint exhibits and displays with the Placer County Museums Department. Holmes said although he thinks Hodkin is doing a great job, the guidelines are a way to educate a new historian should the city need one in the future. In other business City Council: · Authorized Bernie Schroeder, Auburn Public Works Department director, to enter into an agreement with A&A Air Conditioning in Grass Valley for the climate control project in the Auburn Police Department. · Approved the installation of two additional winery directional signs in the city’s right-of-way. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com