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Alabama Historical and Preservation Commission representative to address Trussville Council Tuesday

By  Judi McGuire

For The Trussville Tribune

TRUSSVILLE – In an effort to address the current issue surrounding preservation of Trussville’s Cahaba Project, Mary Shell of the Alabama Historical and Preservation Commission is invited to attend the workshop of the Trussville City Council on Tuesday evening, October 16.  Shell will present the Council with guidelines on how to establish a local Historical Preservation Commission and set up a certified local government program.

By establishing a Historical Preservation Commission in the City of Trussville would provide the designation of historic districts or properties within the city limits.

According to the State Commission’s website, the Historical and Preservation Commission is charged with accomplishing their mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as a public attraction; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities.  

The statewide preservation programs are based on the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and federal law makes the Commission responsible for the National Register of Historic Places. 

One particular area of interest in the community is the Cahaba Homestead Village Project, which is listed in the National Register as the largest Works Project Administration project still intact in the United States.  In addition, the Commission records information regarding buildings and sites that are important in telling the story of Alabama’s history.

Related Story: Demolitions threaten Trussville’s Cahaba Historic District

Several issues have been communicated to Cabaha homeowners including the possible increase of both property taxes and homeowner insurance once such commission is created to preserve the district.

“When communities set up a Historical Preservation Commission there is no law which says that property taxes will automatically increase,” said Shell. “However, after a Commission is established, property values will increase which could result in an increase in property tax.”

A local agent for one of the state’s largest property insurers said the concern of homeowner insurance increases for historic properties would not be a factor with his company. In fact, the question of if a homeowner owns a historic property is not listed on the insurance application.

He said the age of any dwelling could factor into a rate, but historical status would not be an issue. Other companies, however, may have different standards.

The Trussville Council workshop will begin on Tuesday, October 16 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Trussville City Hall.

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