At the May 7 meeting, the City Council of Donalsonville selected three citizens, Becky Grantham, David Maxwell and Sheila Williams, to serve on the city’s newly formed Historic Preservation Commission. In approving the appointments it was noted by the city manager and council that each of the appointees has a heart for the preservation of the City’s history and also are experienced in creating opportunities for growth by working with other groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Authority, the BetterWay Initiative and Donalsonville-Seminole County Economic Development Authority as well as local governmental entities. These three will work closely with the Council and the State of Georgia Historical Development Commission to secure training and resources to help establish the organization, as well as the priorities and goals of this commission.
Last year, on the recommendation of Donalsonville City Manager Steven Hicks, the city council unanimously authorized the adoption of Ordinance 11-07-17 providing for the establishment of a Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Donalsonville. “The purpose and intent of this Ordinance is to establish a uniform procedure for use in providing for the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of places, districts, sites, buildings, structures, objects, and landscape features having a special historical, cultural or aesthetic interest or value, in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance,” stated Hicks.
Grantham commented, “It is an honor and a pleasure to be appointed to serve on the newly organized Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Donalsonville. This committee has been organized in order to preserve the historical, cultural and aesthetic heritage of this great City. By doing this, we will promote the health, prosperity and general welfare of the people and possibly stimulate new businesses to the area. It also should enhance the ability to be able to participate in federal or state programs as well as obtain grants. I look forward to serving with the other committee members as well as the City Manager and Mayor and Council.
“I am excited about serving on the newly formed Historic Preservation Commission for the city of Donalsonville,” commented David Maxwell. “Preserving this community’s history as we work together to make bold and bright new plans for its future is something that has to be done – especially for the benefit of our younger generations. I have long been an advocate for the creation of a Seminole County historical museum and heritage park, as well as a strong supportor of restoring rather than replacing. I hope to use my position on this commission to do all of the above and make the great quality of life in our community even better for all of us..”
Williams commented, “I am honored to be appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission by the City Council of Donalsonville. Seeing the community take an interest in preserving our past is an exciting adventure. Being born, raised, going to church, attending school and living and working my entire life in this community puts a special place in my heart to see the past preserved so the future can continue to thrive and enjoy the history lived before us. We are a strong community and have many great mentors past and present that need to be honored and remembered as well as a number of accomplishments that need to be remembers for now and all times.”
The establishment of the Historic Preservation Commission also moves the city, chamber of commerce and development authority one step closer in the application process of applying for designation as a Georgia R.U.R.A.L. (Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas Legislation) Zone.
Passed in 2017 by the Georgia State Legislature, the Rural Zone program offers an attractive package of economic development incentives for a five year designated period.