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Town to conduct survey on historic structures

Reminiscent of the famous monologue delivered by American actor Tommy Lee Jones in the film ‘The Fugitive,’ Collierville will soon be conducting a historic resources survey of “every building, structure, silo, barn, marker, fence or outbuilding” constructed within the last 50 years.

The ‘intensive historical architectural survey’ will be done on properties within the current town limits and those within the ‘urban growth boundary’ built before 1970. 

The town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen will discuss the matter on April 26 and vote on a $56,505 contract with Thomason and Associates for the ‘2020 Historic Resources Survey.’ 

The project will update a similar survey conducted in 2004. An audit conducted by the Tennessee Historic Preservation Office in 2019 stated that the town should update its survey “as soon as possible.” 

The first phase of the project focuses on “studying structures 50 years old or older as of 2020 within the limits of the ‘local historic overlay’ and within the town limits as they existed in 1970.” 

Jaime Groce, town planner, noted that an “up-to-date historic resource survey should aid stakeholders in deciding which structures should be preserved, and why.” 

He wrote that more timely information about the town’s older structures “should translate into stronger and more defensible decisions (made by the Historic District Commission) related to demolition and exterior alteration requests.

“Information gleaned from the survey will be used to “make future changes to the Historic District Guidelines and limits of the Local Historic District Overlay.” 

The first phase of the project will be partially funded by a state grant. 

The town has already received a $15,000 grant for the upcoming survey, which could run over $50,000.

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