In his Oct. 9 submission to the Community News’ Reader’s View: “Resiliency and Resourcefulness are the Hallmarks of Strong Communities,” Capital Region Chamber Sr. Vice President Mr. Pete Bardunias acknowledged the wonderful contributions that volunteers and their various organizations make to our communities.
As long-standing volunteers in the Town of Clifton Park, the members of the town’s Historic Preservation Commission appreciate that sentiment and would like to explain the role the Commission plays in enhancing life in our community.
Established in 1992, the Clifton Park Historic Preservation Commission is a volunteer body appointed by the Town Board. The Commission consists of fifteen town residents who are interested in and have expertise in historic preservation and related fields such as architecture, archaeology, history, restoration, real estate, law, and art history.
The Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Town Board and the Planning Board on matters pertaining to the preservation of Clifton Park’s historic sites including buildings, archaeological sites and historic areas and districts. It educates residents about the town’s historic assets and provides advice to the owners of historic properties.
The Commission is charged with determining the structures and sites that are eligible to be placed on the Clifton Park Register of Historic Places. In addition to retaining original features, eligible structures must be at least fifty years old and either represent a fine example of a particular architectural style, have an association with an important person in town history, or have played an important role in the religious, political or social history of the town. A list of places on the Historic Register may be found on the Town’s website, cliftonpark.org.
The Commission also reviews applications for the Historic Preservation Tax Easement program. In return for maintaining the historic character and features of a structure, tax easements are available to those buildings listed on the town’s Register of Historic Places.
The Commission is available to assist anyone who has questions about renovations, design modifications or changes to a building to insure that structures remain historically sensitive and compatible to their neighborhood. It oversees the maintenance of the various cemeteries throughout the town, recording their location and encouraging their preservation by cleaning, restoring and resetting stones.
For its most recent project, the Commission accepted the proposal of Lizzie Andrus, a Clifton Park Girl Scout, to conserve the Millious Cemetery on Clifton Park Center Road. Four days of heavy labor righted stones that had fallen over and repaired those that had broken. Most significantly, the cemetery’s leaning obelisk, a local landmark, was straightened back to its original upright position.
The preservation of historic sites is further promoted by the awarding of annual preservation awards for outstanding residential or commercial preservation projects.
The Commission is a group of very active volunteers who are interested in our Clifton Park community and proud to have a voice in the preservation of its historic heritage. It is currently in need of an architect.
If you or someone you know may be interested in joining the Commission, please call the town offices at 518-371-6667. If you would like more information about the Clifton Park Historic Preservation Commission, please visit the town’s website at cliftonpark.org, and click on “committees and commissions” or call the number above.