Historic Preservation leader in Albion suggests smaller board

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 November 2022 at 9:21 pm

HPC has struggled recently to have a quorum

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Downtown Albion historic marker was recently moved from Waterman Park to near the municipal lot on Main Street next to the Presbyterian Church. This photo was taken Friday evening during Beggar’s Night.

ALBION – The leader of the Albion Historic Preservation Commission is asking the Village Board to reduce the HPC from seven to five members.

Mary Anne Braunbach, the commission chairwoman, said the HPC has struggled at some recent meetings to have a quorum. She doesn’t want to hold up projects in the historic district because the board doesn’t have enough participants for an official meeting.

With seven members, the commission needs at least four for a quorum. If the commission was reduced to five, only three would be needed to have a meeting. Braunbach said some members have been no-shows for several months.

Braunbach said the commission tries to be a resource to building owners looking to upgrade their facades or do other projects. The commission doesn’t want to be an obstacle, she said, but will push for property owners to meet the standard for the historic district.

“We want to let people know we’re working with them,” she told the Village Board last week. “We want to help people make the buildings look better and look historic.”

The village is working on a Main Street grant with several building owners doing projects on their sites. Albion also is looking at additional state funds that could result in significant work in the downtown.

Braunbach told the Village Board the commission wants to be involved in helping property owners plan projects and see them through completion.