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MINUTES OF THE
ROUTE 66 CORRIDOR PRESERVATION PROGRAM
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
ST. LOUIS, MO
November 6-7, 2008

 

Welcome and Introductions.

David Bricker advised that he would be chairing the meeting due to a change in employment with John Murphey; this would avoid a potential conflict of interest.

In addition to Mr. Bricker, members in attendance were John Murphey, Mary Ann Naber, Tommy Pike, Jim Conkle, David Knudson, Melvena Heisch, David Dunaway, Carolyn Pendleton, Jim Ross, and Michael Wallis.

Members absent were Greg Smith, Michael Jackson, and Phyllis Seitts.

The National Park Service (NPS) was represented by Michael Taylor, Route 66 Program Manager; Kaisa Barthuli, Deputy Route 66 Program Manager; Aaron Mahr, Superintendent, National Trails System-Intermountain Region (NTIR), and Josina Martinez, Recorder.

Donna Andrews, St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomed the participants and encouraged them to get out and enjoy the city.

David Bricker introduced Aaron Mahr who gave welcoming remarks. He thanked the Council members for their participation and acknowledged the work they have done for Route 66. He also recognized Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli for their outstanding work in managing the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. This is the last year of the program under its initial authorization. The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution. Only 43% of last year’s budget can be spent under the continuing resolution. One of the things the NITR is keeping tabs on is the grant portion of the Route 66 Program. Two of the comprehensive management programs being administered by the NTIR have been cut by 25%. He advised the members that they needed to be aware that these cuts have not yet hit the Route 66 program, but it could be affected. He again thanked the Council members and partners

David Bricker asked the guests to introduce themselves:

Bill Hart, Field Representative, Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation
Mike Pendleton, Vice President, Kansas Route 66 Association
Bob “Crocodile” Lile, President, Old Route 66 Association of Texas
Vicky Ashcraft, President, New Mexico Route 66 Association
Jim Thole, Board Member, Missouri Route 66 Association
Glenda Pike, Editor of the Show Me Route 66 Magazine

David Bricker reviewed the agenda and explained schedule for the two days of activities.

John Murphey thanked the FACA members for their participation and reviewed the accomplishments of the FACA, specifically the inclusion of Route 66 motels on the endangered list and the oral history project. The focus of the current meeting was to determine what needs to be accomplished before the program sunsets. On May 13, 2008, Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico, introduced a reauthorization bill. It was passed by the Senate subcommittee. On Oct 4, Senator Harry Reid placed it in the Public Lands omnibus bill. Senator Thomas Coburn, Oklahoma, will filibuster to stop the bill. There could be a new stimulus bill be introduced next week. This could result in the omnibus bill being put aside.

Dr. Dunaway asked if the program is being closed down since it’s being referred to in the past tense. David Bricker explained that the sunset date is approaching, but there is potential for a reauthorization. There are some political activities that need to occur before that bill is passed. Dr. Dunaway asked if a different FACA would be appointed if the bill is reauthorized. Mr. Taylor stated that the charter for the FACA ends with the sunset of the program. If the program is reauthorized, it is unlikely there would be another FACA convened as the whole FACA process would have to be reinitiated. Mr. Mahr stated that if the omnibus bill is not passed during the special session of Congress, the bill would have to be reintroduced in the next congressional session. They may expect a lag between the sunset of the current program and possible reauthorization.

Next agenda item is the report from Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli on the activities of the program over the past year.

Mr. Taylor has been the program manager since its inception in 2001. He will be moving to a new position within the NTIR as the Cultural Resource Manager for the five national historic trails managed by that office. Ms. Barthuli will become the acting program manager. John Murphey, former FACA Chairman, has been hired to work with Ms. Barthuli in the Route 66 program beginning January 2009. Although Mr. Taylor had not been working full time on Route 66 for the past couple of years, Ms. Barthuli and Mr. Murphey will bring the program to its former status.

The status of the FACA was discussed. This is the fourth and last meeting. There are many issues and projects that the staff needs the guidance of the FACA. There are numerous projects in the works, and since not all can be accomplished by the end of FY 09, they will be asking the FACA for their recommendations in setting priorities.

Ms. Barthuli provided a number of handouts to the members. In 2005 they developed a strategic plan which they would like to review to look at the big picture of what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done. They will additionally look at the long-term program priorities if the program is reauthorized.

Mr. Taylor reviewed the FY 2008 accomplishments. The program received a grant from the World Monuments Fund for $150,000 directed to the economic impact study and the National Register Route 66 travel itinerary initiative. A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was developed to enable this project. Within the MOA, they identified $105,000 would go towards the economic impact study. The agreement with Rutgers University has been signed, and is ready to move forward. Ms. Heisch’s office has been involved with Rutgers and they have already completed work in Oklahoma. The program will have that project completed and distribute the information as soon as possible. The deadline for this project is the end of 2009; however, they will attempt to expedite it.

Ms. Barthuli discussed the itinerary project. The World Monuments Fund grant also included a second project to inventory leaking underground storage tanks. A third project is a preservation plan for the Santo Domingo Tradition Post in New Mexico. Subsequently, American Express asked to reconsider the last two parts of the agreement. They discussed other ideas and the Route 66 travel itinerary initiative. The funds will be redirected to bolster the National Register Travel Itinerary program.

Mr. Taylor updated Ms. Naber’s work to add Route 66 motels to the National Trust’s Most Endangered List. The National Trust also provided funding. Another project the National Trust assisted with is the Aztec Motel in Albuquerque. The motel has been bought by a development company, which may demolish a portion of the motel for new development. The City of Albuquerque is in the process of acquiring the property to prevent this demolition.

Two motels, the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and Park Hills Motel in Vinita, Oklahoma, received cost-share grants this year. There is much more work to accomplish with the motel initiative. Ms. Barthuli hopes they will be able to progress the initiative before the program sunsets.

Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli co-organized the Preserving the Historic Road Conference held in Albuquerque in September. Michael Wallis was the keynote speaker of the event. This conference brings together Departments of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and state highway departments and preservationists to discuss how to preserve historic roads and highways. In 2010, the conference will be held in Washington, DC. Mike Taylor feels that we are losing considerable historic roadbed on Route 66, and once people are aware this, they will begin to understand the importance of its legacy.

Ms. Barthuli spoke about the recent National Trust conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Route 66 was featured prominently during the conference. The program provided educational sessions on Route 66. They additionally coordinated two 9½ hour tours on Route 66 from Tulsa to Kansas. FACA members Michael Wallis, Carolyn Pendleton, and Melvena Heisch were involved with the tours which were successful in giving participants a great overview of Route 66 and local, state, and federal preservation efforts to preserve the highway. David Knudson mentioned how the National Trust was not involved with Route 66, but since its conference in Santa Fe in 1997, they have become much more interested.

Ms. Barthuli reported that a Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) between the 11 institutions making up the Route 66 Archives and Research Collaboration (ARC) had been signed. The MOU outlines what the institutions plan to do individually and as a group. The group met in Albuquerque this past year. Notable strides have been made by the individual institutions in collecting and exhibiting Route 66 materials. Some states have begun to inventory materials that exist within their state. The University of New Mexico (UNM) completed a survey of this nature. The group has also started public and other outreach initiatives. The group developed a subcommittee to look at the UNM work to determine how they can fund similar surveys. The next meeting will be held this year at the Autry National Center of the American West, in Los Angeles.

Mr. Taylor discussed the National Historic context. Michael Cassidy produced a national historic context, which needs to move forward as a Multiple Property Documentation Form to the Keeper of Register. This will be finalized by the end of next year. Mr. Murphey will be editing and formatting the final draft for submittal to the Keeper.

Missouri, Arizona, and California are without state contexts. The Missouri State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has issued a contract to complete their state context. Mr. Knudson asked who they were working with in California. Mr. Taylor stated they had been working with the SHPO. They had also met with City of Los Angeles officials, who are undertaking a massive historic building survey which may include Route 66 resources.

Ms. Barthuli reported on their work with UNM to teach students HABS/HAER documentation skills. The project focus this year was La Bajada, an escarpment south of Santa Fe containing two alignments of Route 66. They brought in NPS architects to assist the project. The student drawings are being finalized for submittal to the Library of Congress. The students participating in the project came from the landscape architecture, planning, architecture, and history disciplines.

Ms. Barthuli noted that 50 National Register Route 66 itinerary properties were submitted to Washington, DC, and the plan now is for World Monuments and American Express Partnerships in Preservation Initiative to assist with funding to include 50 additional sites. They are working to get the first 50 up on the National Register web site by spring. They will continue to work on the additional 50 sites and hope to have them up by December, 2009.

Mr. Taylor noted that at the last FACA meeting, the Illinois roadbed survey was a priority. The program has entered into agreement with Illinois to get the survey completed. Michael Jackson’s office is involved in this agreement. This is one of many surveys that need to be updated.

Ms. Barthuli said the program was able to offer a limited amount of funding for cost-share projects. Approximately $80,000-$90,000 was awarded to eight new grants this year. She provided a handout with information on these grants. The group will visit one of the recipients, the Donut Drive-In, during the afternoon tour. There was discussion on the projects, specifically on county-owned historic bridges. Ms. Naber said there are federal funds available for preservation and maintenance of historic bridges, but most states/counties are not aware of this, or are fearful of perceived restrictions that would be involved with receiving federal funds. There is flexibility in the application of guidance for these funds. There is a highway bridge rehabilitation and replacement fund available.

Mr. Taylor discussed an emergency outreach project for the Rock Café, which burned this past year. The program was approached by Dawn Welch, the owner of the business, who is seeking funding for a preservation plan for the building to get it back in operation. Both the NPS and National Trust provided limited funding assistance toward plans for the rehabilitation of the building. The goal will be to retain as much of its historic character as possible.

Ms. Barthuli discussed the Twin Arrows site in Arizona. There is concern about its condition and future use. The site has been out of use for about 15 years and is frequently vandalized. It sits on Arizona State Trust lands; the Hopi Tribe owns the buildings. The NTIR tribal liaison, Otis Halfmoon, was able to secure a meeting between the Hopi land council and NPS. After the meeting, Ms. Barthuli informed them of the World Monuments Funds nomination, which elicited interest in preserving the site. NPS worked with Hopi and the Arizona Route 66 Association to submit an application to the Trust for grant funds. The Association received $10,000 for architectural and preservation plans on behalf of the tribe. The tribe is interested in having some work completed before the International Route 66 Festival in Flagstaff next year. The tribe is looking at economic opportunities for the site. The program is committed to working with the tribe to look for other funding opportunities; the City of Flagstaff has also offered assistance.

Ms. Barthuli discussed the continued management of the grant program. She provided statistics about the grant program over the years. A total of 161 applications have been submitted to the program, of which about half were fully or partially funded. Almost $4 million has been requested; $1.3 million has been provided, which has been matched by partners in the amount of $1.4 million. The number of funded projects is 86. Mr. Mahr stated it is critical that people realize that federal money is being leveraged by the cost- share matches. Mr. Taylor said these are issues that will be addressed in the economic impact study.

This year there are 26 active projects and five projects in progress. There were also several projects that had to be deobligated. Ms. Barthuli provided a list of the projects that have been canceled. Unfortunately when these projects are not completed, the money reverts back to the Department of Interior. Mr. Taylor reviewed the deobligated projects. The council was provided a list of the projects which were not completed and the reason for why they were terminated. Ms. Barthuli said the issue brings up the question of tightening the grant requirements and what the program can do to prevent these losses, especially if it is reauthorized. Mr. Conkle asked if the state associations could get involved as a co-grantor. Dr. Dunaway asked if efforts were made to work with the grantees to complete the projects. Ms. Barthuli assured him that they bent over backwards to finish the projects, but intractable issues prevented their completion.

Mr. Taylor summarized the activities of the program over the last eight years. He discussed the FY 05 strategic plan that has guided their activities. He provided a copy to each of the members and asked them to review it.

Ms. Barthuli provided an update of the FY 09 priority activities. Using the strategic plan, which is updated every year, they are focusing on activities relating to sunset. They picked the activities based on a number of criteria. By accomplishing these activities, the program will be ready for sunset or reauthorization. Priorities include completion of the World Monuments Fund/American Express grants; the archive and research collaboration; finalization of the national and state historic contexts; continued development of a plan to initiate roadbed surveys; preparation of briefing documents, legacy material, archive in case of sunset, including turning over program responsibilities to non-federal entity; and updating the web site as a resource center for Route 66. A final limited grant season will commence, as they work to close out existing grant projects. The program will continue to address urgent situations as they arise, in particular bridges, motels, and road beds.

Lastly, she provided a list of long-term priorities, should the program be reauthorized, and discussed each item. Are there other federal designations appropriate to Route 66? What is the best role for federal involvement? Could Route 66 become a national historic trail, or national historic highway? Can Route 66 be designated as a NPS unit? Through stakeholder meetings the program could look at how the federal government could be involved with Route 66 in the future.

Mr. Murphey asked Mr. Mahr what the priorities would be if the program is not reauthorized; what needs to be completed. Mr. Mahr stated the objectives of the original legislation must be complied with to insure that outstanding projects are completed. If the program is reauthorized, the first priority would be development of a strategic plan. Mr. Mahr asked for a condensed version of why a signing initiative was never prioritized. Ms. Barthuli said that directional signage was one of the alternatives proposed to the public. At the time, that idea was not well received because it was felt that it would “sanitize” the route. The sentiment was that interpretation and signing should be left to the local communities and private landowners. It was also determined that NPS should not be involved in formulating a national corridor plan; it should be a local effort to preserve the idiosyncrasies and flavor of the road. Mr. Pike said that part of this resistance was a reaction to the federal governments decommissioning of the highway in the 1980s. He then discussed signing and who could be in charge of a route-signing initiative.

Adjourn for lunch.

After the lunch break, Mr. Bricker summarized and concluded the discussion on signage and brought up his thoughts on issues of initial costs and maintenance and replacement of signs. These are issues that will have to be considered. Mr. Knudson reported that Illinois has a program in place to provide signage along the road. Mr. Ross stated that he liked the idea of designating Route 66 as a historic highway as there is a great deal of misunderstanding with the term scenic byway. The designation “scenic byway” is being changed to America’s Byways.

Mr. Bricker moved on to the committee reports

Dr. Dunaway – Publicity Committee. The Route 66 media list was completed. They worked with Kansas on the Baxter Springs visitor center. They presented their program at the historic roads conference. Two Indian tribes expressed interest in Route 66 and the preservation program. They prepared a publicity release for the FACA meeting in St. Louis.

Oral history has been providing ongoing assistance. They helped organize the ARC conference, identified research centers, conducted five oral history interviews, and organized an oral history workshop. He is training students on conducting oral history. They are visiting museums, in order to bring them up to date on resources available. They have updated the database with new sites and collections. They have also developed a proposal for podcasting.

As both Greg Smith and Michael Jackson were absent, the Education and Outreach Committee did not report.

Mr. Knudson and Mr. Ross – Accountability and Measurement. Mr. Knudson provided a summary of the economic impact study report to everyone. They will be conducting a national survey next summer to quantify the number of tourists traveling Route 66. Mr. Knudson is hopeful that things will be moving along more quickly. Ms. Barthuli said they have not finalized the methodology of the survey, but will be coordinating with the associations. Mr. Ross said that the preliminary data from Dr. Listokin is impressive, as far as the economic impact and the impact of the preservation program. The report will be public domain. Ms. Heisch said Oklahoma will have the Route 66 economic impact study done soon which will be available on the internet. Mr. Ross stated that the statistical data provided by the study will have a positive impact and increase interest in Route 66. The report will be available on CD, on the web site, and hard copy. SHPOs and other entities will have copies available. The archival institutions will be provided copies.

Mr. Bricker – Preservation Management Committee. The committee revisited and refined their goals. From Ms. Barthuli’s report, it appears that the recommendations are being followed by program staff. The first is the completion of the national context. This is underway; some activity is pending. The second are the outstanding state contexts: Missouri, California, and Arizona. This is also moving forward; NPS will facilitate their completion in the next fiscal year. The third item is addressing pending nominations, specifically those under the Missouri context. These nominations are waiting on the completion of a state context. The context for Missouri has been written, but not put into MPDF format. A contactor has been hired to do this.

Mr. Bricker asked Ms. Barthuli if there were any other issues she needed to revisit. She suggested they look at the FACA items from the last meeting and update the FACA action items handout provided to everyone.

The first is to develop a rack card or brochure listing resources that could aid preservation along Route 66. They plan to do this before sunset.

The second is to address pending nominations that have no state context. This is being addressed and is a priority item.

The third is missing state contexts for California, Missouri, and Arizona. They are moving forward with Missouri; Arizona has a context that needs to be updated; California will require a larger effort.

The establishment of a national organization. It is anticipated that this will be completed this fiscal year.

Because of funding limitations, they will not be able to address all the roadbed surveys.

The economic impact study will be completed.

Ms. Naber asked how the economic impact study will be accomplished before the end of the fiscal year. This money is not tied to a fiscal year, so it does not have to be finished by the end of fiscal year 09 (FY 09).

Mr. Conkle stated that in spite of the economic problems and gas prices, Route 66 businesses did very well this past year.

Top three priorities were the state contexts, roadbed surveys, economic impact study. Mr. Ross asked about their status. What is the status of the roadbed surveys and is it realistic to think those will be completed before the program sunsets? Ms. Barthuli said they will not be able to get to all of them done; Oklahoma is completed, they have an agreement with the Illinois SHPO to update an existing survey; a thorough Kansas survey is finished. They have not determined how they will proceed in the other states. Because of limited funding, they will have to look at how this will be accomplished. Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California need to be addressed. Mr. Ross asked if they could solicit volunteers in those states to accomplish this task. He feels it is crucial that this gets done. How can you prioritize what is going to be preserved if you don’t know what exists? He feels there are enough people out there who have become authorities on the subject who could be asked to conduct the surveys. The Oklahoma survey could be used as a template. It is a simple, straightforward process. Ms. Naber stated that FHWA went to local agencies and individuals, and received feedback. It was very effective. Once Oklahoma completed their roadbed survey, they were able to move ahead with National Register nominations on the most threatened sites. Mr. Murphey said they need to develop a methodology that would work with each individual DOT. Each DOT has their own way of surveying and evaluating road resources. Mr. Ross said that DOTs are only concerned with roads within their own systems. There was further discussion on this issue; how to leverage people and resources to get it done. They will try to work on this in the ensuing year.

Dr. Dunaway referred back to the context studies. He is available to help with the context studies and have material that could enhance the studies.

Mr. Conkle said that when the economic study is done they can show it to various government entities; it could be helpful to convince them that Route 66 is economically beneficial. Ms. Naber said the context studies would also be useful for the state DOTs.

Mr. Bricker said that there is a portion of Route 66 from Needles to Barstow which I-40 bypassed. There are 28 low lying bridges that California DOT (Caltrans) is working to save. They have been trying to work with San Bernardino County to replace or repair these bridges. As funding arrives they will work in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The design and materials of the bridges are the biggest challenge.

Meeting adjourned for the field trips.

Day 2

Mr. Bricker began the meeting by asking the members to introduce themselves for the benefit of the public attending the meeting and also asked the guests to introduce themselves.

Bill Hart, Field Representative, Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation
Bob “Crocodile” Lile, President, Old Route 66 Association of Texas
Vicky Ashcraft, President, New Mexico Route 66 Association
Bill Hudson, Illinois
Pat Henderson, Missouri
Carol Dyson, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Aaron Mahr, Superintendent, National Trails System-Intermountain Region
Mike Pendleton, Vice President, Kansas Historic Route 66 Association
Jim Thole, Missouri Route 66 Association
Shelly Graham, Oklahoma

Mr. Bricker introduced Tom Bradley, Superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial who welcomed the Advisory Council, along with Frank Mares of his staff.

Mr. Bricker reviewed the agenda for the day. He opened the public comment period.

Pat Henderson gave an update on her efforts to create a Route 66 postage stamp. She is also working with representative in Tulsa on a postmark in conjunction with the opening of the new Route 66 Xperience visitor center. Mr. Conkle suggested there could be a series of four postage stamps commemorating Route 66. Mr. Knudson said there is a gentleman in Illinois who is also working on this, and asked if they had been in contact with him. Mr. Conkle said they would talk to him about it. Dr. Dunaway made a motion for the council to pass a resolution in support of the Route 66 postage stamp. Mr. Pike seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Conkle stated that it should have a significant connection to Route 66, not just picture a car. Mr. Pike said he recommended that there be a stamp issued for each state. Pat Henderson said that she has been working with a colleague on a design for the stamp.

Bill Hart brought up the reauthorization and stated that his organizations are ready and willing to do anything they can to lobby for it. It was brought up that the advisory council members can lobby as private citizens, but not as members of the council.

Vicky Ashcraft expressed her appreciation to the council for the work they have done. Bob Lile expressed his appreciation and the money which was made available for the Triangle Motel, Amarillo, Texas. He also mentioned that the state associations need to get together to push the reauthorization through.

Mr. Pike said that we are going to have to re-educate the newly elected public officials on the importance of Route 66 and make new contacts.

Carol Dyson said that, thanks to a cooperative agreement between the Illinois SHPO and the NPS Route 66 program, they had an intern who GPS plotted the roadbed in Illinois. Next summer they will have another intern design guidelines for that roadbed. She asked if anyone else had design guidelines that they could follow. Ms. Barthuli said there is a bike trail initiative on Route 66 in Illinois in which it is critical to identify the most significant portions of the roadbed and to provide guidance on how to best protect these features. They have discussed developing a toolkit with different options for the roadbed. They are looking at outreach materials, public meetings, and website information.

There were no other comments from the public. The public comment period was closed.

Mr. Bricker suggested that they review the strategic plan. The plan was remarkably ambitious and well thought out. There are many accomplishments that can be identified. Goal #4 is one of the most challenging. Given the circumstances, they seem to have accomplished the goal in the face of funding restrictions. Mr. Wallis said that many of the strategies will be discussed by the Route 66 Alliance. Mr. Pike said that he thinks the program gave a great deal of credibility to Route 66. Although the financial assistance is nice, it isn’t enough. The program was not funded to the level they had hoped for at the beginning, but it did give people credibility and elevated the highway’s status. This is why he hates to see the program end. What has been done is good, but it needs to continue. Mr. Conkle said the intangible that we can’t give value to is the economic impact. They need to let Congress know what the program has done for the road; they would not be where they are today were it not for the program. Mr. Ross noted that the lighting of the Donut Drive-In sign the previous evening was a prime example of what the program has accomplished. Ms. Heisch said the Route 66 program has also had a huge impact on other preservation efforts at local, state, and national levels.

Dr. Dunaway said that in reviewing the goals, he is impressed by how much has been accomplished. Everything has moved forward under the stewardship of the NPS. Reading this goal raises the question of citizen participation.

Ms. Pendleton said that this program has had a huge impact on their community. The gas station completion has inspired other projects. Restoration is continuing. The program has changed the whole outlook of Route 66 in Baxter Springs.

Mr. Knudson stated that he hopes the Route 66 Alliance will develop the manpower to work with and advocate for the NPS program. Mr. Conkle said that the alliance will have an action committee based on the National Trust’s example.

Mr. Bricker stated that he would like to review Goal #4, Strategy #6 (Goal 4: Ensure efficient administration of National Park Service program. Strategy 6: Seek advice from Federal Advisory Council.) He commented that the NPS staff took the strategy seriously, by placing many of council’s recommendations in the strategic plan. They recognized the need to get advice from other individuals and it was generous to take that strategy seriously. Mr. Ross said that Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli have done an outstanding job in administering the program. The council was very complimentary of the NPS staff.

Dr. Dunaway discussed Goal #4, Strategy # 2 (Goal 4: Ensure efficient administration of National Park Service program. Strategy 2: Request increases to program funding.)
Does this extend the reach of the program? Would it be possible to find other funds from NPS for other agencies in FY 09? Could it be an effective strategy? Mr. Mahr said that it would be challenging to find funds internally within NPS; these funds are usually prioritized to parks. Like all the trails, Route 66 crosses many NPS regions, and all the programs are regionally specific. The NTIR does not score well with these types of funding. It’s the nature of internal NPS funding allocations. On the other hand, the program received $100,000 from the NPS Special Emphasis Priority Allocation System which was directed towards developing the National Context and nomination properties to the National Register. The Route 66 program exists only because of the legislation. Once that legislation ends, the program will no longer exist and they will not be able to compete for funding.

Ms. Naber said that there are other programs under DOT where Route 66 projects could compete for funding. These programs will continue to be available to any of the resources along Route 66. There are many federal funding sources available. NPS does provide funding for project specific areas that individual Route 66 areas could apply for. Mr. Conkle reported that they have lobbied not only Congress but also federal agencies. There is more money there, they just need to know where to go and who to contact.

Ms. Dyson noted that there were other funding sources such as Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures grants. She asked Ms. Naber about transportation enhancement funds and how they are allocated to states. Ms. Naber replied that the states run their programs, with FHWA oversight. The money cannot go directly to the program.

Mr. Pike said that each entity has a different way of administering their programs, so it is difficult to deal with them. Mr. Bricker said that this is also true of cities, counties, and states.

The next topic of discussion was the formation of the Route 66 Alliance. Mr. Bricker asked the chair of the steering committee, Mr. Conkle, to explain what the alliance mission will be and specifically what they expect from the NPS in the form of support and participation. Mr. Conkle responded that the alliance will be a clearinghouse made up of groups and individuals who have a stake in the road. They are coming together to take this goal to the next level. They want to bring all associations together to work as a team. They have come up with bylaws that they will be voting on. In order to join the alliance, an individual must be a member of a state association. This helps membership of the individual associations, and shows that the association is being driven from the bottom up. The first logical choice for a national organization would be the Route 66 Federation; however Mr. Knudson elected not to pursue it. When you are an international or national organization, you command more attention. The alliance is not going to solve all the problems of the road but will assist in addressing them. Mr. Wallis provided an update on what has been done since their initial meeting. They have talked about a national entity for years. This is the first time they have gone forward with the idea. Much of the credit for this goes to Rick Freeland. He is key to this project because he brings fresh ideas and resources. He has served as a voice of reason on the committee and helped mediate differences. They have helped secure legal counsel, much of it pro bono. Mr. Wallis has a draft of the charter prepared by their pro bono attorney. Within two weeks, these papers can be filed, creating the alliance. They will need to find a bright professional to run the alliance who is familiar with preservation, management, and grant writing. They have to pay that person a decent salary and provide a good staff. They would like to model the organization after the national Lincoln Highway Association. Every state association on the road must be represented on the board. The incorporation papers will be discussed tomorrow at a separate meeting. Once they are a nonprofit, they will begin fund-raising.

Mr. Ross asked how corporations will be approached for monetary support. Mr. Wallis said they will target corporations that have an interest in Route 66, including the fuel and hospitality industries. People that need to be on the board will be representatives from entities that exist on Route 66. The alliance will not work unless if it cannot efficiently serve the eight states. What they need is a central clearinghouse that can be a resource for the route nationally. Mr. Pike asked what the advisory council sees as the mission of the alliance. Mr. Ross said that he thought the alliance would carry on some of the work that the NPS will not be able to continue if it is not reauthorized. Mr. Conkle said they would not take resources or members away from the state associations, but will enhance them. Mr. Wallis said this is a possible way to fulfill Goal #4. They would take over the records and archives of the NPS. Mr. Murphey asked if the alliance will offer a grant program similar to what has been done through the NPS. Mr. Wallis said that could be a part of it, along with education. He has discussed options with institutions of higher learning in Oklahoma, such as archiving papers, etc. They need credibility. Mr. Conkle said they will deal with preservation, education, grants, marketing, and legal issues. Mr. Knudson asked who owns the files and documentation that the NPS has amassed. Ms. Barthuli said it is the property of the federal government, and if the program sunsets, a plan will need to be developed to determine how and where it is archived. Mr. Ross said the alliance is going to need a substantial set of bylaws. He commented that individuals and businesses can join but they must be members of a state association. Will the alliance be able to provide the information directly to the public? Mr. Wallis said they will be doing that. Dr. Dunaway said that Route 66 has been down this road before. A member of the steering committee should stop in Clinton, Oklahoma, and go through the documentation of the original Route 66 Association. What they’ll find is a linear Route 66 chamber of commerce. There is documentation that the alliance could use. They can learn from the Route 66 experience. Mr. Pike said they have to proceed with caution. Ms. Barthuli said that the value of the alliance cannot be understated. The success of the program could not have happened without working with the state associations. If they had a national organization to work with, the program could accomplish even more. The Act states that the program shall assist the states in determining the appropriate form and establishment of a national organization. She said the program can look at ways to help facilitate the formation of the alliance. Ms. Barthuli stated one opportunity for the alliance is National Trust Preservation Leadership Training. This training provides a comprehensive course in preservation law, organizational development, and tools for getting out on the ground to preserve resources. This program might help provide a common vision for the formation of the alliance. Mr. Wallis said the board should take this training. Mr. Ross asked who they envisioned serving on the board. Some steering committee members would be on the board, but they would recruit people from various national and international groups. The NPS could serve in an advisory capacity to the board of directors. Mr. Wallis said a key is who they select as an Executive Director. They will answer to the board, but that person must be a self-starter, a good manager, and able to handle many issues at once. Mr. Ross said they are going to need a large full time staff. Mr. Bricker opened the discussion to the public.

Bob Lile said that in Texas they have built an excellent organization with only one full time employee. Mr. Bricker asked what sort of information the program needs to assist in the development of the alliance. Ms. Barthuli said at this stage it is a matter of getting the alliance off the ground. The NPS recognizes the need for the alliance, and would like to look at ways it can help with its development. Mr. Conkle said that they don’t have a mission statement yet, but when that is done they can sit down with the NPS do discuss their role. Mr. Wallis asked if it would be possible for the alliance to get an endorsement from the NPS. Ms. Barthuli responded they could look at ways to partner and work together. Ms. Naber said that she could potentially be a consultant to the alliance on a personal basis at a minimum. She also asked if the alliance would be a replacement for the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program if it sunsets. It is hoped that the program will be reauthorized and will partner with the alliance, but if it doesn’t, then the alliance will take on many of the responsibilities of the program. Mr. Ross said a big advantage of the alliance is that if you receive corporate and private funding, Congressional funds wouldn’t be needed.

Break for lunch.

David asked the new attendees from the public to introduce themselves.

Tom Larson, Fort Smith, Arkansas
Jill Church, Route 66 Alliance Steering Committee
Rick Freeland, Vice-Chair, Route 66 Alliance Steering Committee

Dr. Dunaway provided copies of the executive summary of the ARC meeting to all members of the council.

Open discussion and recommendations to the NPS. Mr. Bricker asked if there were any other comments to the topics discussed prior to lunch that needed to be readdressed. Mr. Wallis feels that there is a general consensus that the meeting thus far has been very fruitful. He is focused on the formation of the alliance and is delighted that they have diversity on the steering committee. He is looking forward to seeing the alliance become formally organized. Mr. Conkle said that Dr. Dunaway had drafted a potential mission statement which he read to the council.

Ms. Barthuli reiterated that the NPS stands ready to assist with the formation of the alliance in any way possible, as directed by their legislation.

Mr. Mahr suggested that the group move very deliberately and think about feasibility and look at the history of similar organizations to see what can be accomplished. A mission statement and a vision statement are critical. He also recommended a strategic plan for the first year of development. Look at what has and hasn’t worked in the past, what great ideas have come up. The NPS could provide a facilitator for a meeting to develop a strategic plan. Ms. Barthuli said that it may be possible to work with the National Trust to hold a Better Boards or Preservation Leadership training session exclusively for Route 66.

Mr. Pike asked what issues needed to be discussed by the council. Will the program be giving grants out this year? Ms. Barthuli said there will be a small grant program this fiscal year, as other priorities must also be addressed in consideration of sunset. There are also a number of existing grants that are scheduled to be completed by the end of FY 09. She referred to the handout provided that listed the projects and priorities for the remainder of the year. Mr. Pike asked if there was anything that needed to be considered to be funded before the end of the program. Mr. Taylor added that once the alliance steering committee provided their mission statement, and organizational papers, the NPS could possibly provide limited financial support.

Mr. Conkle asked if the website could be transferred to the alliance in the event the program is not reauthorized. Ms. Barthuli said the website will be updated and developed as a resource center. They do not yet know what will happen to the website if the program sunsets. They will, however, create legacy materials that will extend beyond the program.

Dr. Dunaway said one concern about the alliance taking over is responding to the numerous inquiries from the public. The alliance will have to be able to take on the responsibility of these inquiries; ideally they can turn these inquiries into memberships. Mr. Wallis said this issue would be discussed at the steering committee meeting.

Mr. Ross said there is going to be a great deal of networking involved in providing information to the public. Not all inquiries will be directly related to Route 66, but he feels they will need to respond to all types of questions.

Mr. Taylor asked the FACA members to provide guidance on how to best preserve the resources on Route 66. He asked them to look at the big picture of how much highway is being lost: roadbed, diners, gas stations. In the eight years he’s been working on the route, many resources have been lost. The physical remnants of the road are critical to preserve. How can the program and other agencies work together to try and preserve the road? If the program is not reauthorized, time and resources will be limited. The overall need to create awareness between city, county, state, and federal governments is important. Mr. Knudson said we need to educate the world on the importance of Route 66; public relations efforts are critical to this end. The economic impact study will create value in the communities. These two efforts will help preserve properties on the road. He envisions the alliance hiring a public relations agency for this purpose.

Ms. Naber said that if there are standard treatments that have worked in the past, these should be made available to the public; case studies and best practices would be useful. The owners and managers of the road need to be aware of these resources. Mr. Knudson said in California a problem is the value of the property. Perhaps educating the owners as to the historic value would be beneficial.

Mr. Mahr asked how the information from the economic impact study would be distributed to the public and asked the council for suggestions on how this could be accomplished. Ms. Barthuli stated there is funding in the project agreement to hold a number of public meetings to talk about the results of the economic study. This will happen next year. The results of the study will be available on the website and American Express will publish the information. If the program is reauthorized, they can look at other opportunities. Ms. Heisch said that the Main Street Program members would be a good way to get this information to the Route 66 business owners in Oklahoma. Mr. Pike said the information needs to go to the people who are not in the Route 66 community. Dr. Dunaway said they have developed a Route 66-specific press contact list. The program should produce press releases highlighting the results of the economic study state by state.

There was a great deal of discussion on how to further contact and make owners aware of these preservation efforts.

Mr. Bricker brought up item #6 of the FY 09 priority list, referring to the education, briefing documents and program overview documents. In terms of website information, what has been accomplished thus far could be better highlighted. Reviewing the activities, this should be a higher priority because of the sunset.

Ms. Heisch stated that in Oklahoma, they are holding preliminary talks with ODOT to discuss Route 66 issues. Mr. Murphey said that the Lincoln Highway Association already has an agreement with Iowa DOT which addresses such issues. Ms. Barthuli said that there is already some work that has been done in Illinois with the SHPO to build upon an existing programmatic agreement. They would be happy to work with Ms. Heisch on this.

Mr. Ross asked Mr. Taylor if his question as to what needs to be done has been answered. Mr. Taylor said that he just wants to make the council aware that there needs to be awareness and education. Public and private owners need to be educated. There is a systematic chipping away of the road. There is some change that is inevitable, and they will have to live with that. Mr. Wallis said that there is a bright future for the road; they can’t save it all, but they must save what they can. The key word is relevance; people need to know this road is still relevant. In many communities it’s still the main road. Mr. Pike said change is natural to the road; it has always been in a state of change. Ms. Barthuli said that change on a commercial corridor is inevitable, but it is how that change happens that is critical. Mr. Ross reiterated that we need to save the best resources; that is why the historical context and surveys are so important to prioritize these resources. Mr. Knudson said a prime example is the Red Cedar Inn in Missouri, and lack of understanding by the community as to its importance and the importance of Route 66.

Shelly Graham asked if there was any effort to educate small motel owners on preservation issues. Ms. Barthuli said there have been isolated efforts. A discussion then took place on the motel initiatives and related preservation efforts.

Mr. Bricker asked that the council review the 2009 priorities preparing for sunset, which Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli had established.

Ms. Barthuli reviewed the priority activities prior to sunset.

The first priority is completion of the World Monuments/American Express contract, to include the travel itinerary and economic impact study. Mr. Taylor said the economic impact study will be condensed down for easy interpretation; information will be broken down by state. Rutgers is a leader in this type of study.

Second on the list is the Archive and Research Center Collaboration. The MOU has been signed, but there has been little publicity about it. They will launch a publicity campaign and hold a meeting in California. A goal of the meeting will be to find a way to make the collaboration sustainable on its own without NPS involvement. An important component of the initiative is to connect the state associations with the archives in their states.

Third is to finalize the national context. This involves packaging the data into a MPDF format, which has been completed. The document is being reviewed by the staff of the Keeper of the Register. The period of national significance is being considered to be extended to 1985. In additional to the National Context, they are going to work to finalize the state contexts. Missouri is nearly completed, Arizona is under review; California is going to require a great deal of effort to initiate.

Develop an active work plan to complete road bed surveys.

Prepare for sunset by creating legacy materials and briefing documents, developing a rack card, etc, with the intent to showcase best practices.

Work on upgrading the website.

Plan to offer a limited grant cycle. They may tighten the eligibility and priorities for grant cycles in the future. The 26 current projects will be closed out, including coordinating award ceremonies and giving out recognition plaques.

Assist the formation of the Route 66 Alliance.

Prioritize issues relating to road beds, bridges, and motels.

Although this will be the last Advisory Council meeting, the council remains active until the end of FY 09.

Dr. Dunaway said that the oral history information must be safeguarded.

Mr. Taylor asked if there were any further comments from the council.

Mr. Conkle noted that the alliance will be taking over publication of the Pulse.

Ms. Pendleton expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the council. She has met many people that she hopes to keep in touch with. Ms. Heisch agreed with Ms. Pendleton and said she hopes to continue the working relationship with everyone. There are more exciting things to come.

Mr. Murphey said he was grateful to serve as chair; serving on the council provided an opportunity to work with individuals and groups beyond governmental preservation agencies.

Mr. Pike said he has enjoyed serving, participating in interesting discussions, and hopes to keep in touch. It has been an enlightening experience for him.

Dr. Dunaway said he has enjoyed the diversity of the council. The road is a community and the community has diversity.

Mr. Ross said it has been a great honor to serve. With all the areas of expertise that came to the table, he has learned much. He commented that although there were only four meetings, they have set into motion actions that will pay dividends far into the future.

Mr. Wallis said he sees this as just another beginning. What he values the most is the people experience. He feels that he has gained new friends and that serving on the council has paid big dividends. He asked everyone to give Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli a standing ovation.

Mr. Knudson thanked Mr. Taylor and Ms. Barthuli, and wished John Murphey well in his new position.

Mr. Bricker echoed everyone’s sentiments and also thanked Ms. Martinez and Mr. Mahr. It has been a privilege to be on the council. He thanked everyone for their work.

Mr. Conkle said the road is in better shape because of the involvement of the people in the council.

Mr. Taylor stated it was a privilege to act as the Designated Federal Official for the FACA. Although it took several years to get the council off the ground, it has been a valuable tool for the program. He thanked the members for serving on the council. He thanked Mr. Bricker for agreeing to serve as chair for the last meeting and also Mr. Murphey for serving as chairman for the previous three meetings. The last item was the presentation of plaques to each of the members commemorating their service on the Advisory Council.

Ms. Barthuli recognized Mr. Taylor’s leadership and his contributions to the program.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.





 

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