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QAnswer: Aliquippa Allen

Vice Chair, Historic preservation commission

Historic Preservation Commission hosts training program

By KELLI WRIGHT/KELLI.WRIGHT@DEMOPOLISTIMES.COM

Q: The Demopolis Historic Preservation Commission recently achieved its certification as a local government. To begin working under this new title, the commission is hosting Commission Assistance and Mentoring Program, or CAMP later this month. Tell me about this opportunity.

CAMP is actually presented by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions. For certified local governments, it provides a variety of things on how to officially and formally do historic preservation in a community. One of those things that we will be looking at is legal issues and standard guidelines. Another is how to obtain public support when it comes to designating historic districts, and then how to actually identify and designate those districts.

Q: Is this event just for commission members or is it open to the public?

We are not only getting continuing education, but we have opened it up to offer five scholarships (one per city district). This is only one form of our continuing education. CAMP really does help those who are just getting off the ground because what you want to do is do it right from the beginning.

Q: How will the commission use this workshop to move forward with its operations?

I can&8217;t emphasize enough how important it is to get community input and to set guidelines. Because a person can look at a building and think that it&8217;s junk, but from the historic preservation side we think of it as a resource. We are just citizens of Demopolis as well so we need people&8217;s help. That&8217;s why we want to do this. We&8217;ve asked anyone who may be interested such as realtors, our councilmen to come out and participate.

Q: Has there been interest so far in attending the program?

We&8217;ve opened it up to all local certified governments in Alabama. Several of those commissions have already done a CAMP, but that&8217;s okay with us because we need the training. Some commissions coming are from Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Decatur.

The one day event will be 8 a.m. &045; 5 p.m on April 24 at Lyon Hall. Registration for this event is $60per person (excluding lunch). Deadline to register is April 17th, space is limited, first come basis. Contact Paula Bird, city clerk for a registration form at 334-289-0577 or e-mail: paula.bird@demopolisal.gov.