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Local historical preservation group plans to apply for grant

Published: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 9:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 9:14 a.m. CDT

The Osceola Historic Preservation Commission is applying for a $11,702 grant for a project it feels will encourage revitalization and enhance awareness of Osceola's historic downtown business area.

Osceola City Council approved the commission's request Tuesday night to file an application for a Certified Local Government (CLG) grant on behalf of the city. The grant would cover about 60 percent of project costs.

Much of the funding will be used to hire a professional preservation consultant who will work with volunteers to research properties in the courtyard and business district along the square.

"The intensive survey and evaluation of downtown Osceola will document the historical significance of the buildings with the goal of identifying properties individually eligible for the national register and any potential historic districts," said Commission Chairperson Ann Diehl in a memo to the council.

The total cost for the 18 month project is $19,500. The city's share would be $7,808.50.

"At least 90 percent of the city's share will be covered by in-kind donation of time, printing and space for meetings, by the volunteers and city and (Osceola) Chamber Main Street staff," said Diehl.

The survey will help promote the project for state and federal resources.

Nominating the area as a historic district could create a tax credit benefit to downtown building owners.

History

In 2011, the preservation group received a grant to complete a preliminary survey of the community to determine historical and architectual structures across town for future preservation efforts. The results were sent to the state historical society. The group hired a consultant who's advice was to survey the community's downtown business district first.

Partnership

The commission plans to work with Osceola Chamber Main Street on the project.

"Our Historic Preservation Commission and the Design Committee of Main Street have many overlapping purposes and goals," said Diehl in the memo. "The Main Street director is experienced in helping with projects like this and is anxious to get started. This can only be a win-win situation for Osceola."

Director Derek Lumsden gained experience with historic preservation projects when he was a Main Street director in Corning.

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