Historic home video tour contract to be decided at next council meeting

stillwaterThe contract for the new historic home video funded by a grant returns to the next Stillwater City Council agenda following a tie vote on the issue due to Mayor Ken Harycki’s absence from Tuesday’s council meeting,
The city has been working on getting video walking tours set up about historical places in the area. The newest contract funded by a grant covers historic homes in the area.
Two men, Don Empson from Stillwater and Dan Hoisington, who has done the most recent round of videos, were both presented as options to council.
Funding for the video project creating a walking tour of historic homes in the North Hill area was obtained by former city planner Mike Pogge.
Empson, who’s written various books on the subject of historic homes in Stillwater, hopes to make his video a travelogue through the homes and mentioned some homeowners willing to allow use of their homes in his video podcast. He also said he’s talked with a folk singer who would provide the music.
Although Empson admitted to council that he has never done a video podcast, he is enthusiastic about the project.
Hoisington, who made the first round of videos on historical downtown places, also is enthusiastic about the project. He said he wants to find stories about historic homes and share them with people through the video. He said he’s done historical projects for 25 years and enjoys the storytelling aspect of the video.
“So we’re choosing between a presentation for an old-home lover or a tourist town approach,” asked Councilman Mike Polehna after hearing the presentations. “Which one did Mike Pogge have in mind before he left?”
“There doesn’t have to be only one podcast going forward,” said Brian Larson of the Heritage Preservation Committee. “We could have two podcasts, and there’s lots of ways to approach it. We could have one that covers the biggest flashiest victorian homes that are reasonably close together or we could have tight groups of styles developed in different eras.”
The HPC reccommended Empson’s work and added that he would need to create two videos before they would go forward with the project.
“Mr. Hoisington’s work is a known quantity and product, but I’d also like the opportunity to see the other product as well,” said Councilman Tom Weidner.
The tie vote tabled a decision on the historic videos until the next meeting.
Also at the meeting council:

  •  Approved a wharfage use permit for the St. Croix Sailing Club to tie up to the wharf past the usual eight-hour limit Aug. 24-25.
  •  Learned from Community Development Director Bill Turnblad that Congress has not yet approved the defense department budget and there is no green light for construction of the proposed new National Guard Armory. But he added that the National Guard has approved the plan and are waiting on the defense department budget to be approved.
  •  Expressed support for a public art project shown to council by Carly Schmitt. It will be a long project and depending on whether all the grant pieces fall into place currently has an end date set for spring 2015.
  •  Were told by Shawn Sanders that the city will not have additional costs tied to the levy project. Costs for the downtown improvements currently stand at $608,000 for the parking lot near Mulberry due to soil issues, $80,000 for the pedestrian amphitheater, $300,000 for the Lowell Park restrooms. Funding for the projects are found in the Lowell Park Improvement fund at $377,000, $180,000 from a grant and leftover money from the pedestrian plaze and includes the Water Street Inn parking lot where costs will be assessed to the Water Street Inn.
  •   Honored Ken Schmitz as he retired from the Fire Department
  •  Witnessed police awards to various people in the community including: a citizen commendation to Sarah Nordheim, Trenton Estes and Dana Lucker-Milan for calling when they noticed a suspicious circumstance near Bronze in February resulting in the prevention of  a burglary; a police department letter of commendation to Sgt. Jeff Stender, Officers Sandra Vetsch and Ryan Mitchell and Reserve Officer Jon Burke, and distinguished service awards to Sgt. Chris Felsch, Vetsch and Mitchell.