The Washington City Council this week authorized applying for a matching grant to research and possibly nominate certain properties along Fifth Street and other parts of Washington to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Washington Historic Preservation Commission, in partnership with Downtown Washington Inc., proposes to seek a $25,000 grant through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
The council unanimously agreed to appropriate funds in next fiscal year’s budget for the match.
If approved, the grant would provide funds to hire a consultant who would research a proposed Fifth Street Historic District that would include buildings along a corridor between Elm and Hancock streets, according to Bryan Bogue, historic preservation commission chairman.
The project also would include researching and possibly nominating individual structures along Jefferson, Lafayette, Oak, Elm, Second, Third and Fourth streets.
The city would be required to match the grant amount, but some of those funds could be in-kind services, according to a letter from Bogue to the council.
Bridgette Epple, Downtown Washington executive director, said she believes the organization could come up with about $15,000 in in-kind services to apply toward the match.
Downtown Washington will be sending out letters to owners of possible eligible buildings asking them if they want to be included in the project.
“A property is deemed eligible for nomination to the National Registers of Historic Places based upon historic significance and integrity,” the letter states.
“No property will be researched or nominated without the consent of the property owner,” Bogue said in his letter to the council.
Owners of properties that are placed in the National Register are eligible to apply for federal and state tax credits that could be used for restoration and rehabilitation projects.
“As you know, the Fifth Street corridor is a particular section of town that we will be focusing on in the next few years,” Bogue’s letter states. “This additional designation will only give the properties more options for future economic development.
“These grant funds will aid Washington in continuing to protect its historic structures as well as maintain a stable community and economy,” Bogue said.
He said that the commission is currently waiting on the SHPO to provide guidance on the grant budget process concerning in-kind matches for the grant.