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Clarifying the National Historic Registry designation

Editor:

I am responding to a letter in the Journal, regarding the board of trustees’ decision to move forward with an application for a grant to expand the National Historic District in Springville. The National Historic District is a designation, not a regulation. The designation qualifies owners within the district to participate in the historic tax credit program. Participation in the tax credit incentive program is voluntary and not an obligation. It is up to the owner to determine whether a project with qualifying tax credits is financially advantageous.

Mayor Bill Krebs and the trustees are familiar with National Historic Districts, SHPO reviews and the tax credit program, as they approved a grant last year to fund public outreach about this program, within in our existing national historic district. Foremost, the mayor and the trustees understand that this is a voluntary tax credit program, available only if a property is listed on the national registry as an individual property or within a district. The board of trustees often discusses how to position the village to receive grants, such as New York Main, Erie County Smart Growth Grant, NYSDOT TAP grant and others, that will benefit village residents.

Finally, the mayor and trustees support pursuing this grant because of the success of the New York Main Program. 15 local business have successfully gone through the SHPO review process, to qualify for the matching grants of over $200,000. That is encouraging. A similar but smaller financial incentive could be available to homeowners. The first step to offer this incentive to residents is to prepare an application for a grant to expand our national historic district and that is what the trustees decided to do. If the village receives the grant, the Historic Preservation Commission and elected officials will reach out to the public with more detail about the program, before the village submits the actual historic district application.

Tim Horner
Springville Village Administrator
Springville


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