Minutes August 27, 2012
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- The Meeting was called to order by Chairman Larry Foerster at 5:30 p.m.
- Commission members present: Larry Foerster, Gertie Spencer, Edith Clanton, Martha Gandy, Anna Shepeard, Raymon Laughter, Nevaire Richardson, Eulice Vial, Celeste Graves, David “Jay” Hrivnatz, Karen “Candy” Lucas, David Frame, Brenda Beaven, Nancy Jackson and Sue Ann Powell.
- Special Guests: Heather Kramer – Montgomery County Library Genealogy Department; Jerry Gay, Sr., Kay Mayer Dawes and Barbara Hamilton – East Montgomery Historical Society.
- Visitors present who signed in: Danny Biano, Pat Biano, Carl Biano, Luine Hancock (Sen. Robert Nichols Office), Billy Ray Duncan (Montgomery Historical Society), Jean Moorenbry, Patti Werner (Judge Sadler’s Administrative Assistant), Emily and Barkley Dominey, James Spencer, Joe Kolb (President Heritage Museum), Harold Hutcheson, Angela Sturseth (Chamber of Commerce), JUTE and Beverly Tucker.
- Gertie Spencer was recognized for her many years as chair of the County Historical Commission and presented a Proclamation from Texas Senator Robert Nichols. The presentation was made by Luine Hancock.
- Public comments: None.
- A motion to approve the June 18, 2012 minutes was made by Anna Shepeard and seconded by Raymon Laughter. Minutes were approved as written.
- The following Update concerning the Historical Commission was given by Commission Chairman, Larry Foerster:
- Commissioner’s Court approved the Commission Bylaws and Budget, giving the Commission $30,000 instead of the requested $27,000. The Commission also reports to the Texas Historical Commission.
- May use some of the $30,000 on a Website for the Commission. The final decision rests with the Commissioners Court.
- Montgomery Methodist Church Cemetery marker will be moved to Pond St.
- An effort is being made to move the Joseph Bennett historical marker, which is now in entrance of the Wal-Mart parking lot on Highway 105 near Montgomery. Col. Joseph Bennett was one of the leaders in the Battle of San Jacinto.
- Need to be thinking about Fund Raisers and consider Public/Private Partnerships – goal is to make history come alive. Need sponsors.
- Robin Montgomery has written a narrative of the first republic of Texas for a Texas Legacy Festival which his non-profit organization is organizing.. It will be on April 13, 2013, in Heritage Park in downtown Conroe. He is looking for volunteers and groups to participate in this event.
- Thomas Chapel United Methodist Church in Willis recently celebrated its 145th anniversary.
- A Historical Commission Youth Advisory Board has been proposed, consisting of one or two juniors and seniors from each high school in Montgomery County, to give feedback from young people on capturing and preserving history. Meet quarterly. Larry Foerster has asked Brenda Beavers to head this up.
- Form a network with History teachers. Let them know resources that are available. Purpose of the Historical Commission – to be a catalyst for everything related to history that’s going on in our county.
- Presentation by David “Jay” Hrivnatz concerning a Historical Resource Survey of historic sites and structures in Montgomery County. The purpose of this survey is to identify 50-year-old structures in Montgomery County. Action taken is reflected in item 12 below.
- A criteria will be established for applying for Commission funds for worthy projects of historical significance in the County. Gertie Spencer will serve as Chairman and Anna Shepeard will serve with her. $14,000 is available in the Commission Budget for grants. A copy of Collin County Historical Commission’s 2012-2013 Guidelines & Application for Grant Events, Projects and Programs will be reviewed, and a report on Guidelines will be presented at the October meeting.
- Approval of grant requests by historical organizations will be postponed until the presentation of Guidelines at the October meeting. Organizations will be notified so they can apply for grants.
- Discussion of applications for historical markers in Montgomery County:
- Deadline for application for Texas Historical Marker is November 15 (window from September 1 – November 15), and the price is going up after the first of the year. A large marker is now $1,500.
- Texas Historical Cemetery Marker – similar to Texas Historical Marker.
- Conroe Live Organization is going to submit an application for a historical marker for the N.E. corner of the Courthouse Square commemorating the Fire of 1911.
- Let Larry know in advance if anyone wants to apply for a Texas Historical Marker.
- Discussion to locate a company or individual to construct a professional website and a mobile phone web application for the Historical Commission:
- Information for a request for a proposal from at least four website companies will be gathered by Barkley Dominy, David (Jay) Hrivnatz, Heather Kramer, Beverly Tucker and David Frame, Chairman.
- Goal is a collaborative effort to “crank up” history, foster pride and encourage tourism.
- Discussed the following requests for reimbursement of expenses out of current year’s budget:
- Montgomery Historical Society – $4,095, for reimbursement of work done on Old Baptist Church in Montgomery (plumbing $1,720; minor construction work and roof repair $360, and revising sprinkler system at Nat Hart Davis Museum $3,015. The City of Montgomery paid $1,000 on these expenses. Motion was made by Gertie Spencer to approve the request for reimbursement for Montgomery Historical Society up to $4,095 (in case Commissioners do not approve the work on the sprinkler system, another expense can be substituted). Eulice Vial seconded the motion. Motion carried.
- Jay Hrivnatz attended the Texas Historical Commission Workshop in Austin on August 21, on our behalf. His expenses were: $425 for fee; $133.74 for room; and $46.76 ($.14/mi) for mileage. Total $605.50. Motion was made by Anna Shepeard, and seconded by Ramon Laughter, to reimburse Jay Hrivnatz for his expenses to receive training in “How to Promote Engagement and Grant Writing to Help Other Organizations” in Austin on August 12, 2012. Motion carried.
- Anna Shepeard recommended having an itemization of how much is allocated for travel to workshops and other categories. As Treasurer, this is something she will prepare.
- Larry Foerster suggested Jay get information regarding the cost of a sign for his vehicle as he does “Windshield Surveys” throughout the County for his Historical Resource Survey. Eulice Vial suggested he get a personal I.D. and business cards. This will be put on the next meeting’s Agenda.
- Potential members, Dorothy Reese (Conroe ISD and Froncell Reese’s widow) and Barbara Hamilton (East County Historical Society) will be approved at the October meeting. Motion was made by Anna Shepeard, and seconded by Celeste Graves, to approve Beverly Tucker (Lone Star College) as a member of the Montgomery County Historical Commission. Motion carried.
- Goals, long range plans and special projects of the Commission were covered in earlier discussion.
- The next meeting will be October 1, 2012. (The Commission needs to have four meetings per year.)
- The following announcement was made by Anna Shepeard: There will be a dedication ceremony at the Willis Cemetery on October 20, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., with placement of Cemetery Historical Markers at several Confederate soldiers’ graves. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at First United Methodist Church of Willis.
- The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Sue Ann Powell, Secretary