The El Dorado Historic District Commission will continue discussions today about ongoing efforts to draft a citywide historic preservation plan.
The commission will meet at noon in the second floor conference room of City Hall.
Commissioners are working to iron out the scope of work with the Lakota Group, an Illinois-based urban design firm that will draft the plan.
With a $42,000 grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program — the largest Certified Local Government grant to ever be awarded to El Dorado — and a $10,000 match from the El Dorado Works tax, commissioners accepted Lakota’s bid proposal in April, not to exceed $46,574.
Linda Rathbun, chairman of the EHDC, previously noted that commissioners will be the administrators of the project and she would like for them “to sit down and walk through” the scope of work before delving into the information-gathering process, which will include hearings to gather public input.
Elizabeth Eggleston, executive director of the commission, said the Lakota team is expected to be in town next month to meet with commissioners.
“They’ve requested a number of documents,” Eggleston said.
A final draft of the plan must be submitted to the AHPP by July 15, 2020, she said.
Also on the EHDC agenda is a recent request by Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer to relocate its office from City Hall.
Eggleston shares an office with the city’s payroll/personnel clerk and she said the mayor cited potential confidentiality issues.
Eggleston said the EHDC has spoken with City Attorney Henry Kinslow and state historic preservation officials on the matter and the commission will discuss their findings today.
“With the Lakota Group coming in July, we certainly want to present a professional appearance when they come to City Hall,” Eggleston said.
She said commissioners will also hear an update today on a Certificate of Appropriateness request for signage for a downtown postal facility that houses post office boxes.
The facility at 208 E. Elm, formerly Union Station Café, includes a mail drop but is not a full service postal service.
In February, the EHDC approved a Certificate of Appropriateness request from the U.S. Postal Service for graphic, vinyl letters and numbers on the front door, in accordance with USPS standards. The new signage will include the USPS logo and list the hours of operation.
A COA is required for most exterior work that is done within the city’s commercial historic district.
Commissioners are also working to schedule a strategic planning retreat to review and evaluate the mission of the EHDC and its policies and procedures.
Additionally, commissioners have said they will explore ideas to raise public awareness about their mission and historic preservation in the city.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or email@example.com.