SOUTHINGTON — Town planning officials have hired a consultant to update an inventory of historic buildings and farms, a task not undertaken since 1986.
Jennifer Clock, Planning and Zoning Commission secretary, said farmland wasn’t included in the previous survey.
“This hasn’t been done since 1986,” she said. “It’s 30 years of makeup work we’re doing.”
Designating buildings or properties as historic resources could help the town get state preservation grants similar to the one used to help transform the Gura building into the Southington Community Cultural Arts center.
Building Conservation Associates of New York City will do the study, Clock said.
The updated inventory can also help planners identify areas ripe for development.
“It’s all interconnected to try to preserve our town’s historic character,” she said.
In May 2016, the state Historic Preservation Council voted to approve $30,000 for Southington’s inventory update.
Council members raised some concerns, such as Chairwoman Sara Nelson’s worry that there could be a political influence on the process of designating buildings. Mary Dunne, grants coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office, said the council or the Planning and Zoning Commission have no influence on the consultant’s report and added she isn’t worried about political considerations skewing results.
Building Conservation Associates workers will be around town inspecting buildings and properties, Clock said. She favors posting the completed inventory on the town’s website.
Planning Commission Chairman Michael DelSanto said the board would get more information on the project at subsequent meetings.