Longview 150 time capsule donations off to slow start, city planner says

A city panel is awaiting more donations of items that could be added into a time capsule next year for Longview’s 150th birthday.

One donation has been received — a Pine Tree High School football helmet, City Planner Angela Choy told Historic Preservation Commission members Tuesday.

She has sent as many as 40 emails to local agencies seeking donations for the sesquicentennial capsule that will be buried May 8 outside Central Fire Station, she said. Among the requests has been for helmets from each high school in the city.

The Pine Tree helmet “is the only thing I’ve gotten,” Choy said, adding that local author Kimberly Fish has talked with Choy about donating her books, which include “The Big Inch” as well as “Harmon General.”

Longview residents have until March 1 to submit items for the time capsule.

In another matter, the city still hasn’t received any applications from people interested in joining the commission despite announcements on social media, CityView television and other media.

The Historic Preservation Commission meets at 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. It is supposed to have at least seven members, but it has only three members — Meredith May, Michael Smith and chairman Jim Cogar.

“We’ve done a lot of work to push it,” Choy said. “We got one applicant, but he couldn’t meet during the day.”

“And for a lot of people,” May said, “that’s the holdup.”

The commission needs an architect, planner or representative of a design profession to fill one vacancy, and it needs an owner of an historical landmark or a property in a historical overlay district for another vacancy. The final two vacancies are reserved for an attorney and for a historian.

The panel lost two members earlier this year when Ryan Mails moved out of state and Andrew Khoury died. Also, Cogar is in the final year of his term, which ends in August.

For information about donating to the time capsule or about serving on the commission, email achoy@longviewtexas.gov .