Historic grants to cities and counties total more than $2 million

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 160 views 

Several city and county governments in the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas areas received a portion of more than $2 million in grants from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The agency’s $2,009,349 in grants reached projects in 41 Arkansas counties through its County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant, Historic Preservation Restoration Grant, Certified Local Government Subgrant and Main Street Downtown Restoration Grant programs.

Crawford County received an $11,950 County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant to restore the chimney at the courthouse in Van Buren. The City of Van Buren received a $10,000 Historic Preservation Restoration Grant for monument stabilization at Fairview Cemetery and a $5,700 Certified Local Government grant for training, website development, and an outreach film.

Eighteen counties shared $1,399,801 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 $3,715,669.

Other counties receiving courthouse grants were Boone, $124,469; Bradley, $37,401; Calhoun, $103,000; Conway, $160,000; Greene, $77,784; Izard, $133,750; Lincoln, $70,386; Little River, $66,729; Logan, $94,968; Lonoke, $141,300; Madison, $65,114; Monroe, $123,000; Prairie, $19,556; Randolph, $23,715; Saline, $25,269; Searcy, $72,410 and Union, $49,000.

Sixteen projects shared $440,466 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 $1,062,190.

Seventeen recipients shared $89,982 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 $170,143.

CLG grant recipients included Eureka Springs, which received $3,480 for training and the “Green Old House Day” event; Fayetteville, which received $1,200 for training; Fort Smith, which received $5,200 for training and survey work to expand the Fishback Neighborhood Historic District; and Rogers, which received $5,355 for administration and training; and Texarkana, which received $1,200 for 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 $74,100 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 Blytheville, Dumas, El Dorado, Eureka Springs, Hardy, Helena, Ozark, Paragould, Rogers, Russellville, Searcy, Siloam Springs, and West Memphis each received $5,700 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.