City Council Moves To Create Preservation Committee

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Athens City Council members took steps at Monday night's meeting to establish a Historical and Architectural Preservation Committee.

The group would oversee matters relating to the protection of Athens history and culture.

City council members heard the first reading of an ordinance proposing the creation of the committee. 

Council members began talks to develop a preservation committee months ago, but Council President Jim Sands says they were unable to agree on specifics.

The plan eventually materialized after members decided to loosen their reins.

"So, we finally realized to be good parents, we need to give some direction and then let it go," said Sands.

Recent news of Ohio University leaders' planned demolition of Building 26 at The Ridges played a role in the committee conversation.

Once officially created, the committee could attempt to have some influence on the university's decision to demolish historical sites at The Ridges, but will not have direct control of those projects.

"When it comes to The Ridges, we will be able to express our desires," Sands said. "But that's as far as it goes."

Members of the preservation committee would be selected by the mayor.

If the ordinance is adopted, the group is expected to begin meetings in late spring.