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Group aims to find better solutions for historic preservation

Members of the Historic Preservation Committee sat down on Jan. 27 and discussed possible solutions to problems facing many of the city’s significant landmarks.

Yet throughout the deliberations on how to improve the small, quaint town nestled in between Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, one thing became very clear: They have no authorities to make changes.

According to Community Development Director Brok Armantrout, the Historic Preservation Committee is there to make recommendations to property owners to make their building look more historic.

“In the end it is their building, they can do what they want with it,” Armantrout said.

Regardless of the recommendations made by the committee, buildings such as the Browder Building and the Scratch House restaurant, both owned by Charles Lawson, remain boarded up. Even though everyone on the committee wants to see those buildings become more aesthetically pleasing, there is only so much they can do.

During the meeting, Boulder City resident Ray Turner said he is willing to provide art supplies for Boulder City High School students to have an art competition and paint over the plywood boarding up the buildings. Regardless of his hope for a better look for the buildings, Turner will hear the same thing as anyone else trying to make suggestions on how to restore someone else’s piece of private property — no.

“Like any building in Boulder City, we would love to see Lawson’s buildings open back up,” Armantrout said. “It’s a shame for them to have to be boarded up. We have talked to various insurance companies and asked them if they really tell their clients to board up their buildings if they are going to vacate them. With a straight face they told us ‘Yes.'”

The committee also brought up possible solutions to using the old water filtration plant on Railroad Avenue as a way to attract the community to the historic landmark.

According to Armantrout, he wants to convert the plant into a museum where the public can come learn about the building that used to filter water for Boulder City.

“When we looked at it about 10 years ago, we thought it would be an ideal location for a water works museum. We could put a gift shop, and maybe a cafe,” Armantrout said.

The committee has scheduled to take a tour of the old water filtration plant by the end of February to determine what kind of work needs to be done to it in order to make it accessible to the public.

The committee is scheduled to hold is next meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 in the large conference room at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

Contact reporter Juan Diego Pergentili at jpergentili@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @jdpbcreview.

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