At the November 6 meeting of the Preston City Council, the Historical Society’s Phase II plan for the Historic Campus and Riverfront was discussed.
Committee members provided an update on the masterplan for the project. Council members Charles Sparks, Steve Hall and Flossie Schultz are members of the Preston Historical Society (PHS).
Sparks noted that during his 13 years on the city council one issue that people have often brought up to him is the need for a museum to display Preston’s history.
Hall explained, at this point, they just want to begin a dialogue to help people understand what Phase II involves. They offered a blueprint showing what they would like to do on the Riverfront. We need a museum. Hall said PHS is looking for a home; they are grateful for access to the Dairy & Farm building where many artifacts are stored, but currently there is no way to display them.
A resolution of support for the Phase II masterplan was provided. The museum “home” for the Historical Society would provide a place for collections, meetings and events. The resolution will enable planning and fundraising for completion of the Historic Campus.
The resolution authorizes negotiations for a partnership agreement between the city and PHS regarding the use of the Dairy & Farm building and surrounding site. The PHS will collaborate with other city boards for comment and input. The council by adopting the resolution endorses PHS efforts for fundraising from citizens, the state, foundations, organizations and institutions to develop the Historic Campus. The city will serve as the fiscal agent for any funds raised.
Hall added they are not asking the city for money. Mayor Kurt Reicks said he was in support of what he called “a great masterplan.” He noted the Preston Utility owns the Dairy & Farm building.
Sparks explained approval of the resolution will allow the city to show we are serious about having a museum in town. No actual timeline was set, “just as soon as we can.”
City Administrator Ryan Throckmorton added the PHS was not asking for a commitment for the site. Fundraising will be done by the PHS, a non-profit, not by the city. City attorney Dwight Luhmann said the resolution is a formal way of saying we have had those discussions.
A motion to adopt a resolution in support of the PHS Historic Campus and Riverfront Masterplan Phase II was approved. Schultz, before the vote, commented, “It is a beautiful plan.” However, she decided to abstain due to the fact that she was one of three PHS members on the city council.
Other Business in Brief
•Lindsey Reding, tourism, stated she had requested quotes for designing, printing, and distribution of the 48-page 2024 Preston Tourism Guides. Only one bid provided all of these services. The tourism brochure bid in the amount of $8,590 provided by Perfect Glossy was approved as recommended by the Tourism Board.
Reding recommended keeping the advertising rates unchanged ($341 for full page, $193 for half page, $149 for a quarter page, and $121 for an eighth page). The rates for 2024 were approved as recommended.
The tourism guides are distributed in Root River Trail towns and Rochester. There also is an online version.
•The hires of Susan Roland and Lawrence Daley as EMTs were approved as recommended by EMS director Debra Ristau.
•The city council meets next on November 20. The December 4 meeting of the city council will include Truth in Taxation.