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City presents preservation awards

Council passes final reading on FY 2018 budget

Posted: May 15, 2017 4:35 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Johnny Deal /Bowtie Photography

The Historic Landmarks Commission presented several awards for historic preservation during the May 9 meeting of city council. Shown from left are Laurie Parks, Lynn Holmes, Shawn Putnam, Duncan McIntosh, Laurie McIntosh, Sunshine Smith, Greg Simonson,Trip Guinn, Holly Tatum, Jim Tatum, Gretchen Partin, Andrew Partin, David Partin and William J. Brazier.

Camden City Council passed second and final reading of its FY 2017-18 budget during the May 9 regular session city council meeting.

The budget comes in at a little over $44 million and consists of five funds: General Fund (approximately $9.919 million, representing 73.1 mils), Project Improvement Fund ($488,700, or 13.8 mils), Paving Fund ($368,700, or 10.2 mils), Utility Fund (nearly $32.634 million) and Local Source Revenue Fund ($970,000). 

No millage increase or utility fund increases are proposed, City Manager Mel Pearson said.

The budget does provide for a 3 percent increase for city employees.

Pearson and council praised city staff who worked on the budget, praising their diligence, attention to detail and long hours. The city has been working on many infrastructure projects and will continue to do so, but has been able to do it without a tax increase.

“We thank the citizens who are impacted by these projects for their patience -- they do seem to understand it is going to be great in the long term and they have been very understanding -- we appreciate that,” Pearson noted.

The budget goes into effect July 1.

Camden City Council turned over a large portion of Tuesday’s meeting to the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission.

The commission presented seven awards recognizing preservation efforts in the city of Camden.

Categories included community impact, renovation of a non-designated historic property, adaptive re-use of a historic property, stewardship, educational excellence, youth preservation excellence, preservation excellence for non-profit organization, and the Agnes Corbett Preservation Service Award.

The idea, noted commissioner William “Rusty” Major, is to recognize people who have taken initiatives to preserve, protect and restore historic properties around the city of Camden.

“We want to preserve what we have -- this is part of our heritage and is very important to the community and to the unique character of our community,” Major said.

While Camden is known for its many fine examples of grand antebellum architecture, a number of which are registered on the National Register of Historic Places, there is a wide variety of homes and buildings of various ages and architectural styles that contribute to the unique historic nature of the town. As such, they are worthy of preservation and those who undertake such projects should be recognized and shown appreciation, Major said.

The commission presented Laurie Parks with the Community Impact Award. Parks, who served on Camden City Council and the Historic Landmarks Commission, has been involved in historic preservation for a number of years. She was especially instrumental in the development and passage of a “Bailey Bill” for the city of Camden, which is an ordinance that created tax breaks for people who buy and preserve historic properties.

David and Gretchen Partin were recognized with the Renovation of a Non-Designated Property Award for their work on the Christmas Family House in Camden. They completely renovated and restored the home, which was built in 1907 by Camden merchant James Edward Christmas.

Duncan and Laurie McIntosh also received a Renovation of a Non-Designated Historic Property Award for their complete restoration of a house located at 1714 Fair Street. The house, built in 1886, is a Queen Anne style cottage, an architectural style that is very rare in Camden. They started renovations in 2014 and completed them in 2016.

The commission recognized Sunshine Smith, owner of the Thomas House, with an Adaptive Reuse of a Historic Property Award. Purchased in 1911 by Rev. John Baron Thomas, an African American Methodist Minister, Smith, along with Tripp Guinn, renovated the property for commercial use as an events facility.

The Camden Community Concert Band was recognized with a Preservation Excellence Award for a non-profit organization. The band, which performs several times a year in Camden, was especially involved with putting together Historic Camden’s Independence Day Celebration, known as “Patriots, Picnic and Pops.”

City Planner Shawn Putnam received the Agnes Corbett Preservation Service Award. The award is given in honor of the late Agnes Corbett, who was the director of the Camden Archives and Museum for many years. Putnam, who has served as City Planner for the city of Camden since 2015, was recognized for his dedication “to setting a standard for preservation in Camden by advising the Commission using the Design Guidelines. He makes the Certificate of Appropriateness process easy for citizens.”

Holly and Jim Tatum received a Stewardship Award for their renovations to the Redfearn Family home. Built in 1933, the house is an example of the early use of brick in a craftsman’s cottage style.

Lynn Holmes received an Educational Excellence award for production of a reenactment of the signing and final ratification of the U.S. Constitution, produced in honor of her late son, Richard Alexander Holmes.

The commission honored Boy Scout Troop 38, based at Camden Military Academy, with a Youth Preservation Excellence Award for numerous community service projects to enhance the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site.

Council approved a request to dedicate a leadership legacy bench to Rev. Bruce Hancock, who recently retired after a 40 year career as a Baptist Minister, the last 25 years of which he was minister of Camden First Baptist Church.

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