Heritage Preservation Society conducts annual meeting

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Putnam County Heritage Preservation Society President Phil Gick and Vice President Ken Eitel gave a brief update on the group's activities during the past year and discussed upcoming expectations at the Society's annual meeting Wednesday.

They created a $15,000 endowment at the Putnam County Foundation for the organization with a couple of specific purposes. First, it provides funds for the maintenance and additions to the Heritage Wall located on Vine Street. Secondly, it provides funds for building preservation and to raise awareness of the importance of the past.

"Considering an organization our size and the community we are set in, this was a pretty aggressive goal. We should feel good about that," Eitel said about the endowment and funds raised.

Other projects included hosting a Gaelic dinner with over 100 local residents attending, hosting a group from Bloomington touring Putnam County, creating a new brochure and hosting seminars providing education about the organization.

HPS has big plans for this year. It is pursuing National Register Recognition for several areas of the city.

"This takes a good bit of agreement in the process. It takes educating those in the district as well as provides honorary recognition for the area. Over time, such recognition usually adds to the value in the footprint," said Gick.

The first step begins next week with a visit from DPHA, who have to approve all applications before they move on to the national level.

The group also hopes to grow its membership with an aggressive campaign to educate and inform the community.

"We have a little over 50 members with more applications coming in. Membership is available for $25 a year. Information about HPS can be found at the Chamber, Putnam County Foundation, County Museum or Visitor and Convention Bureau.

HPS raises public awareness of the importance of preservation. They also created and maintain the Heritage Wall in downtown Greencastle.

A new slate of officers was elected by the current board of directors. President is Phil Gick, vice president is Jenni Artis, treasurer is Ken Eitel and secretary is Melissa Gough.

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