Seven appointed to Historic Preservation Commission

The city of Bessemer is restoring its Historic Preservation Commission.
Mayor Kenneth Gulley nominated the following 7 Bessemer residents to serve as commissioners:
  • Alice Royal  
  • Craig Rackley
  • Melanie Bouyer
  • Joe Openshaw
  • LaKenya Bend
  • Edward Wilson
  • Ralph Ruggs

The Bessemer City Council unanimously affirmed the nominations on Tuesday. Commission members serve without pay and will serve staggered terms. The city of Bessemer has a rich history with many historic structures and places. The reinstitution of the historic commission will assist the city in managing its historic inventory and promoting the city’s history.

The Downtown Bessemer Historic District, in Bessemer, Alabama, is a historic district which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Section 66-34 of the City of Bessemer Code grants the historic preservation commission certain authority, among them being:

  • Prepare and maintain an inventory of all property within the city having the potential for designation as historic property.

  • Recommend to the city council specific places, districts, sites, buildings, structures, objects or works of art to be designated by ordinance as historic properties or historic districts.

  • Review applications for certificates of appropriateness and grant or deny same in accordance with the provisions of this article.

  • Recommend to the city council that the designation of any place, district, site, building, structure, objects or work of art as a historic property or as a historic district be revoked or removed.

  • Restore and preserve any historic properties acquired by the city or acquired by the commission.

  • Seek out local, state, federal and private funds for historic preservation, and make recommendations to the city council concerning the most appropriate uses of any funds acquired.

  • Perform historic preservation activities as the official agency of the city preservation program.