The Wilmington Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) met at City Hall Thursday night. A discussion of the current brick road policy in the Port City was an item listed on the agenda.
City staffers asked that the HPC provide some direction as to how the roads should be treated moving forward.
Former HPC Chairman Jimmy Hopkins spoke about the importance of the historical significance provided by the brick roads in Wilmington. Hopkins mentioned his fondness of the sound of horse drawn carriages on brick roads.
Hopkins and the rest of the commission instructed staff to preserve the roads as much as possible. Hopkins also asked that any bricks that could not be salvaged from roads, be used in other ways.
Before the meeting closed, Hopkins announced that he would be stepping down from the board as chairman and nominated fellow commission member Rob Romero to be the new chairman. The board approved of the nomination and the meeting closed with Romero as the new chairman.
After the meeting, Romero spoke about concerns that come with the brick roads. He understands that many see them as a burden despite the consensus opinion from the HPC.
"You got to be sensitive because a lot of these people live in the community," Romero said. "I do. And you want to respect them and what they want and how they see the city turning out to be, how we protect it, but I don't know. We have to think about other ways to address these issues."
He said the topic will most likely be discussed by the commission again, because the issue is not going to go away as the bricks continue to age.
"We like the charm of the cobblestone and the horse drawn carriage but there's a reality of cars," Romero explained. "I don't want people getting damage to their cars either. It's a tough thing. We got to think about the future some ways."
Romero said any action taken as far as brick roads are concerned would originate with talks between city staffers and the HPC. He said Wilmington City Council would probably hold the final say as to what became of the brick roads.
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