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The City of Arkansas City strives to provide a high quality of life for its citizens by furnishing a variety of efficient services in a professional, courteous manner.

Historic Preservation Board to discuss survey results on May 21

Citizens urged to attend meeting at Senior Center, participate in online contest

City of Arkansas City logoARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (May 1, 2018) The Arkansas City Historic Preservation Board will hold a public hearing May 21 at the Arkansas City Senior Citizens Center to discuss a historical resurvey.

This public meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the board’s regular business meeting.

The public hearing on the resurvey results will begin at 6 p.m. The senior center is located at 320 South A St.

Arkansas City Senior Citizens CenterBusiness and property owners in the Downtown Historic District are encouraged to attend and learn more about the resurvey of the district, which lasted for six months.

The public will be able to ask questions.

In attendance will be Brenda Spencer, with Spencer Preservation, which was retained by the City of Arkansas City to conduct the survey, as well as Principal Planner Josh White, the survey coordinator.

This meeting, which is free and open to the public, will serve as the conclusion of the survey project.

The Historic Preservation Board viewed a copy of the survey report during a special meeting April 30 at City Hall.

In addition to possible expansions and contractions to the district, they also discussed the possibility of securing an additional grant on behalf of historical churches in Arkansas City.

Representatives of any churches interested in learning more about this also should attend May 21.

National Historic Preservation Month

Arkansas City residents can celebrate National Historic Preservation Month with the Historic Preservation Board by entering the National Historic Preservation Month Photo Contest.

Everyone is invited to share photos of themselves, family and friends enjoying a historic place on their own social media sites simply by using the hashtag #MyHistoricPlace.

One winner will be picked weekly and announced each Tuesday in May on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s social media sites.

Winners will receive a historic preservation prize package.

Enter the photo contest by posting a photo using the hashtag #MyHistoricPlace on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds. You then will be automatically in the contest.

In order to be eligible to win, participants must tag the ACHP @USACHP; the National Park Service @NationalRegisterNPS (Facebook), @NPSCLP (Instagram) and @NPSParkCLP (Twitter); and the National Trust for Historic Preservation @savingplaces.

They also must include a brief caption that includes the name and location of the historic place. Learn more at https://youtu.be/i1EAl09_wfU.

About the Downtown Historic District survey

The City Commission of Arkansas City voted unanimously Oct. 3, 2017, to enter into an agreement with Spencer Preservation to conduct a historical resurvey of the historic downtown commercial district.

This resurvey was conducted in accordance with a previous project agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office and a grant that was awarded, for a contract amount not to exceed $13,000.

The City’s cost share consisted of in-kind volunteer time and staff time. All expenses were reimbursable through the Historic Preservation Fund Grant, administered by the National Park Service.

That grant was awarded in the amount of $13,000 and accepted Feb. 7, 2017, by the commission.

This was the first comprehensive resurvey of the Downtown Historic District since 1983, White said.

Since then, some buildings have been torn down and others have become newly eligible for possible inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places by virtue of being more than 50 years old.

The survey will ensure that all information concerning the district is up to date. It is informational only and will not by itself add or subtract any properties from the district, but some neighboring properties were surveyed in order to determine their eligibility for inclusion. That decision will have to be made later.

This resurvey is part of an overall process, laid out in the 2013 Comprehensive Plan, of ensuring that Arkansas City’s historic resources are preserved to the fullest extent possible through proper planning.

It also may serve as the first step in determining the feasibility of rehabilitating and converting upper floor space in downtown buildings into living quarters, which could help to alleviate housing shortages.

For more information about this historical resurvey, contact Spencer at (785) 456-9857 or brenda@spencerpreservation.com, or contact White at (620) 441-4420 or jwhite@arkansascityks.gov.