With much work ahead, a new member is being sought for the town of Malta's Historic Preservation Review Commission (HPRC) following the retirement of Judith Gatzi-Mullin, who served for 12 years, most recently as vice-chairperson.
The committee is charged with identifying historic landmarks and working with owners of historically significant buildings who want to make upgrades. HPRC chairman Steve Rutkey said he'd like to see the committee total 7 to 9 volunteers.
We'd like to have someone with an architectural or engineering background, or even better, someone who owns a historic property or structure, because we presently don't have a committee member like this, said Rutkey.
Gatzi-Mullin said she joined the committee because of her background in history.
"I've always had a deep interest in history, and I saw an opening for the committee and wrote (former town supervisor) Dave Meager," said Gatzi-Mullin. "I think what I've brought to the committee is some good old fashioned grounding. I've always wanted to make sure no one forgets what our little town is about. We need to preserve our history."
Gatzi-Mullin, who formerly lived in the town of Clifton Park, has been a town resident since 1990.
"When I moved to Malta, there was no grocery store, no fast food chain, no center of town," said Gatzi-Mullin. "Things are changing so quickly now, and although growth is necessary, I don't want to see us becoming another Wolf Road. We do need retail, but we'll never be a Saratoga Springs. We're definitely a rural community."
Gatzi-Mullin said she'd like to stir interest among town residents to become more familiar with historic structures, landmarks and properties before developments are approved that threaten them.
"We have some great old barns and farmhouses. People need to take a Sunday drive on the back roads rather than using the Northway, or Route 9," said Gatzi-Mullin. "Go through Jonesville across Eastline and to Old Post Road. People should cherish these old homes."