Area counties, cities to receive preservation grants

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 78 views 

Several counties and communities in the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas areas are set to receive funding from various historic preservation and revitalization related grants.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, has awarded $1,649,505 in grants for projects in 35 Arkansas counties through its County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant, Historic Preservation Restoration Grant, Certified Local Government Subgrant and Main Street Downtown Restoration Grant programs.

According to the press release from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 20 counties shared $1,186,941 in County Courthouse Restoration Subgrants, which are financed through Real Estate Transfer Tax funds distributed by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for rehabilitation of historic county courthouses across Arkansas. Funding requests totaled $4,245,027.

Counties receiving courthouse grants were Baxter, $50,000; Bradley, $57,606; Cleveland, $64,777; Crawford, $20,000; Dallas, $20,000; Drew, $80,000; Garland, $100,000; Greene, $30,000; Independence, $52,600; Logan, $44,500; Lonoke, $45,000; Miller, $75,000; Monroe, $128,583; Poinsett, $31,186; Prairie, $34,392; Scott, $75,000; Union, $75,000; Van Buren, $89,600; White, $48,200, and Woodruff, $65,497.

Eleven projects shared $307,564 in Historic Preservation Restoration Grants, which distribute funds raised through the Real Estate Transfer Tax to rehabilitate buildings listed on the Arkansas or National Registers of Historic Places and owned by local governments or not-for-profit organizations. Grant requests totaled $778,967.
HPRG recipients, the amount of their grants, and the properties to be restored, are Booneville First United Methodist Church, $40,000 for roof restoration; City of Crossett, $23,300 for masonry restoration at the City Auditorium; City of Pine Bluff, $14,467 for restoration work and an assessment report on the Saenger Theater; Cross County Historical Society, $37,987 for stabilization of New Hope School; Dallas County Museum, $25,000 for façade restoration of 204 Main Street in Fordyce; Fort Smith Heritage Foundation, $16,343 for structural restoration of the Clayton House; KIPP Delta Public Schools, $30,000 for roof restoration at the Malco Theater in Helena-West Helena; Poinsett County Drainage District, $40,000 for roof, masonry and façade restoration at the Merchants Planters Bank Building in Marked Tree; Prairie County, $28,189 for roof and bell tower restoration at First Presbyterian Church in Des Arc; Visitor’s Chapel A.M.E. Church in Hot Springs, $40,666 for roof restoration, and Women’s Literary Club, $11,612 for electrical upgrades at the Presbyterian Church in Van Buren.

Fifteen recipients shared $90,000 in grants through the AHPP’s Certified Local Government program, which is open to Arkansas cities and counties that contain a historic district commission and a historic district protected by a local ordinance, as well as to cities and counties that are seeking to join the CLG program. These grants provide training opportunities to local historic district commissions and can fund other local preservation projects. At least 10 percent of the AHPP’s annual appropriation from the federal Historic Preservation Fund goes to CLG cities as grants for local projects. Grant requests totaled $134,285.

CLG grant recipients were Batesville, which received $4,550 for education, training and supplies; Blytheville, which received $4,000 for education and training; Conway, which received $4,000 for education and training; El Dorado, which received $8,000 for education, training and staff support; Eureka Springs, which received $4,000 for education and training; Fort Smith, which received $4,000 for education and training; Helena-West Helena, which received $7,600 for education, training and staff support; Hot Springs, which received $4,000 for education and training; Little Rock, which received $11,500 for education, training and preparation of a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Dunbar area; Morrilton, which received $7,850 for education, training, preparation of a National Register nomination for a residential district, and outreach sessions on the benefits of historic preservation; North Little Rock, which received $8,000 for education, training and administrative support; Pine Bluff, which received $6,500 for education, training and signage for the Pine Bluff Commercial Historic District; Rogers, which received $8,000 for education, training and staff support; Russellville, which received $4,000 for education and training, and Van Buren, which received $4,000 for education and training.

There are 19 Arkansas cities in the CLG program: Little Rock, North Little Rock, Fort Smith, Van Buren, Hot Springs, Eureka Springs, Helena-West Helena, Conway, Pine Bluff, Morrilton, Texarkana, Rogers, Russellville, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Batesville, Benton, Osceola and Blytheville.

Thirteen Main Street Arkansas programs shared $65,000 in Downtown Revitalization Grants, which are funded through the state Real Estate Transfer Tax and are available to certified Main Street programs for building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major long-term impacts in the local Main Street area.

Main Street programs in Batesville, Blytheville, Dumas, El Dorado, Eureka Springs, Ozark, Paragould, Rogers, Russellville, Siloam Springs, Searcy, Texarkana and West Memphis each received $5,000 grants through the program.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is the agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Historic Arkansas Museum.