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Springfield, HES hope wall can help preserve Living History Site’s future

POSTED: August 1, 2011 7:15 p.m.

Springfield City Council members have approved plans that they and the Historic Effingham Society hope will alleviate problems at the Living History Site.

In conjunction with a Coastal Incentive Grant from the state Department of Natural Resources, council members have given their OK to plans for a six-foot high retaining wall. The wall is planned to prevent further erosion from stormwater.

With the wall in place, the water will be channeled to an existing storm drain and then out of the Living History Site.

“It should alleviate those erosion problems,” said City Manager Brett Bennett.

In approving the plans, council members agreed to put the work out for bid. Under the grant’s auspices, the project is capped at a maximum of $100,000. The cost of the project will be split evenly between the DNR and the city.

“The Living History Site is a key part of the city,” said council member Kenny Usher. “That situation needs to be corrected.”
Historic Effingham Society President Richard Loper said the HES is anxious to get started and it will go a long way for their future.

“We’re excited about it,” he said. “Once this retaining wall is in place, we have plans for more buildings to put in there.”
Council members also can’t wait to see what effect the retaining wall will have on preserving the Living History Site.

“I think it will tie in well with the Historic Courthouse, the park promenade and Olde Effingham Days,” said council member Jeff Ambrose.

Bennett said the wall will be designed so that it can be extended, if other funds become available. The city also looked at a nine-foot retaining wall, but that cost was close to $200,000.

Council members also approved purchasing a Dodge Charger for the police department. The car, to be acquired from Butler Chrysler, will cost $23,164.

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