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City & County Receive Grant Awards for Historic Preservation Projects

LITTLE ROCK—Governor Mike Beebe announced last week that the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, has awarded $2,043,454 in grants for projects in 33 Arkansas counties – including Polk County – through its County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant, Historic Preservation Revitalization Grant, Certified Local Government Subgrant and Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant programs.

Polk County received a $20,000 County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant for a condition assessment and report on the 1939 courthouse in Mena. The Mena Depot Commission through the City of Mena received a $50,000 Historic Preservation Restoration Grant to restore the roof and soffit and fascias at the 1920 Kansas City-Southern Depot in Mena. Mena Mayor George McKee stressed that the matching grant received is contingent upon the City matching it with $25,000. He said the City was able to obtain a portion of the needed match through the state’s General Improvement Fund but is still seeking other sources to match the required portion. Serving on the local Depot Commission are Tiffany Lane, Gar Eisele, Steve Mosley, LeAnn Dilbeck and Vicki Agee.

Ten counties shared $1,212,656 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 $7,552,963.

Other counties receiving courthouse grants were Franklin, $154,000; Independence, $150,000; Madison, $185,696; Miller, $54,500; Newton, $199,900; Bradley, $250,000; Prairie, $35,000; White, $25,000 and Yell, $138,560.

Seventeen projects shared $562,199 in Historic Preservation Restoration Grants (HPRG), 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 $1,254,726.

POLK-HPOther HPRG recipients, the amount of their grants, and the properties to be restored, were Calhoun County, $20,000 for masonry restoration at the Hampton Masonic Lodge; Central Arkansas Sphinx Foundation, $10,000 for foundation joist restoration at the Bush-Dubisson House in Little Rock; City of Eureka Springs, $14,485 to restore sill logs, roof and chimney at the Harmon Park Trolley Barn; City of Little Rock, $72,000 for restoration of the Oakland Cemetery Mausoleum; Bradley County Historical Museum, $24,567 to restore porches, foundation and sills at the John Martin House; City of Redfield, $53,333 to restore timber columns on the James Street Overpass; City of Sherwood, $78,000 to continue restoration of the Roundtop Filling Station; Cleburne County, $40,533 to restore the roof at the Heber Springs Post Office; Cross County Historical Society, $10,000 to continue restoration at the New Hope School; Eureka Springs Historical Museum, $10,000 for water diversion at the Samuel Calif Building; Prairie County, $37,680 for masonry and window restoration at the former First Presbyterian Church; Rogers Historical Museum, $10,000 for window restoration at the former Rogers Post Office; Saint Paul A.M.E. Church, $19,667 for roof and window restoration at Saint Paul A.M.E. Church in Morrilton, and Stone County, $66,666 to restore decking and bolts on the Sylamore Creek Bridge.

Other HPRG recipients were Town of Chester, $10,000 for window restoration and electrical upgrades at the Masonic Lodge and Community Building, and Women’s Literary Club, $35,268 for environmental systems and handicapped accessibility at the former First Presbyterian Church in Van Buren.

Fourteen recipients shared $128,599 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 $172,655.

CLG grant recipients were Benton, which received $9,500 for training and design guidelines; Conway, which received $6,000 for training; El Dorado, which received $8,312 for administration and training; Eureka Springs, which received $6,000 for training; Fayetteville, which received $8,515 for training and website modifications; Fort Smith, which received $4,758 for training; Hot Springs, which received $13,500 for training outreach on building codes; Little Rock, which received $18,523 for training, updated design guidelines, and education and outreach in the Dunbar School Neighborhood Historic District; Morrilton, which received $14,800 for training, administration and evaluation and assessment of the Morrilton Commercial Historic District; North Little Rock, which received $7,972 for administration and training; Osceola, which received $6,000 for training; Rogers, which received $12,719 for administration, training and updated design guidelines; Texarkana, which received $6,000 for training, and Van Buren, which received $6,000 for training.

There currently 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. Several others are working to become part of the CLG program.

Fourteen Main Street Arkansas programs shared $140,000 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, Dumas, El Dorado, Eureka Springs, Helena-West Helena, Jonesboro, Ozark, Paragould, Rogers, Russellville, Searcy, Siloam Springs, Texarkana and West Memphis each received $10,000 grants through the program.

For more information on the AHPP’s grant programs, write the agency at 323 Center St., Suite 1500, Little Rock, AR 72201, call the agency at (501) 324-9880 [TDD 501-324-9811], send e-mail to info@arkansaspreservation.org or visit http://www.arkansaspreservation.org.

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.

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