Historic homes now recognized by city

by Daniel Moore
Press Staff Writer

Old houses will get some new recognition in American Falls.

Previously, homeowners in American Falls could get their homes recognized by the Idaho State Preservation Office, but the process was long and expensive.  Now homes can be recognized by the city without the hassle or the restrictions the state recognition receives. The American Falls Historic Preservation Commission reworked an ordinance to recognize historic houses around the city.

Homeowners who want their homes recognized by the historic commission can contact commission secretary Leona Jackson. She works at the Power County Courthouse. After being nominated by the commission, the property will also be approved by the city council in an open meeting.

While the details are still in the works, the plan is to allow homeowners to recognize their property with a plaque. The homes may also be listed on the city’s website.

Commission president Don Johnson suggested recognizing historic homes after finding a state law that allowed cities the authority to do so. The commission suggested the plan to the city council, which approved it as an ordinance this last month.

The commission is just about ready to nominate the first two homes to the city council for inclusion on the list. There are other homes the commission would like to put on the list; they are just waiting to contact the homeowners, Jackson said.

“We have approached more homeowners and they have seemed very interested,” Jackson said.

In addition to recognizing historic homes, the commission is working on a map of the old town site, and another map showing the current location of houses moved from the old town site to the new.

Additionally, the commission does anything they can to inform the community about historic properties.

“We just hope that we can make the people aware of the wonderful structures we have in the city,” Jackson said.

The American Falls Historic Preservation Commission is organized by city law. Its five members meet once a month. In addition to Jackson and Johnson, the members include Todd Winters, Tammy Ramsey and Mary Annen.

In addition to the change recognizing houses, the new ordinance appoints members of the commission to three-year terms.

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