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Commission rejects Landmarks funding

By Staff | Jul 7, 2017

Martin Burke, chair of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, was joined by Michael Whalton, executive director of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation Thursday evening to make a plea to the County Commission for an allocation of $10,000 to help develop a nonprofit endowment fund.

The fund, aptly named ‘Our History, Our Community,’ has already drawn approximately $20,000 in pledges. The goal, Burke said, was to reach a goal of $100,000. The fund would, Burke explained, help in preserving historic properties around the county including the Burr Park and the Duffields Train Station project.

Commission President Peter Onoszko spoke in favor of the issue saying, “If we do not take care of our historic legacy, we will only be able to show our grandchildren a plaque where a structure once stood.”

Despite the nod from Onoszko, the remaining commissioners were unable to support the allocation because of current budget constraints.

While supportive of preservation, Josh Compton said, “As far as discretionary spending, we just don’t have it.” The sentiments were echoed by Commissioners Jane Tabb and Patsy Noland who could not agree to providing the additional funds.

The commission members did commend Burke for his hard fight in finding funds and encouraged him to keep looking in various locations. They also did not discourage him from coming back to the commission again in the future.