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Helping Hands Ministry building to let light back in
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The wood paneling on the front of 216 E. Main Street is slated for removal. Plans to restore the building’s former glory are being generated by current owner Tammy Comfort and previous owner Rachel Killebrew.
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Helping Hands Ministry is planning a facelift on its Main Street building, one that will restore its original appearance by removing the wall blocking its windows. 

Tammy Comfort, Helping Hands Ministry founder, requested McMinnville Historic Zoning Commission approve placement of a new sign and “replacement” of the wood paneling. However, commission member Rachel Killebrew suggested the front of the building be restored to its original glory. 

“This was my grandfather’s building,” said Killebrew. “I talked to Tammy. Since she’s not eligible for a façade grant (through Main Street McMinnville), because she’s a nonprofit, I would be willing to help her. I feel like my grandfather, my mother and my daddy are very upset with that building. I’ve got somebody who’s going to come look at it.”

Exterior changes to buildings located within the historic district must be presented to commission members for approval. If the proposed changes meet the district’s guidelines, a Certificate of Appropriateness is given. 

Killebrew says the wood paneling was placed by a previous owner and has been treated for termites twice, without success, and the only viable option is to remove it and restore the windows underneath. 

“The paneling is not there because it needs to be there,” she said. “It was placed to cover up beer signs. The windows are underneath. Because that building is 100 feet deep, there’s no light when he covered the windows up. It’s like being in a cave.”

Presented to commission members was a picture of what the building’s front used to look like. 

“If they break any glass when putting the wood up, I’ll get that fixed too,” said Killebrew. “This work needs to be done. The front of this building is an eyesore.”

Because renovation plans for the building’s front were changed from paneling replacement to complete removal of the paneling, a new COA request that outlines the work to be done must be submitted for consideration.