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Two local residents have been named to the most prominent cultural preservation council in the state.
Stephen L. Collins and Darlene J. Brown, both of Shelbyville, have been appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear to the Kentucky Heritage Council.
The council, which is tasked with identifying, preserving and protecting the cultural resources of Kentucky, is made up of 16 members from across the state.
The council members work to preserve the buildings, structures, farms and landmarks in Kentucky that are historically significant.
Collins, who is currently the council's vice chairman, said having two people on the council from Shelbyville speaks well for the community. Shelbyville's emphasis on historical preservation has not gone unnoticed across the state, he said.
Brown, who could not be reached for comment, is a legal assistant at Stites and Harbison. This is the first time she has been on the council.
Collins, who has served on the council since 1987, said being reappointed to the council is an honor.
Collins, an attorney and the funeral director at Hall-Taylor Funeral Home Inc., said in the past the council has funded several worthy projects throughout the state that "preserve the culture and historical fibers that makes us who we are."
He said preserving our past is vital for our future.
"It's important that, as we progress and as time goes by, that we maintain as much of our history as we possibly can," he said.
He said preserving the historical aspects of a community benefits education, tourism and industry.
"When potential industries visit a town, they will be drawn to a location when they see that it has been well preserved," he said. "That is what attracts them."
In the coming months, the council will start the process of looking for a new executive director of the council. The director will also serve as the state's historical prevention officer.
Collins said the council will also be busy preparing for the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.
The council meets once a quarter and for special called meetings.
Collins and Brown will serve on the council for the next four years and can be reappointed to their seats indefinitely.