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Posted on: January 27, 2020

City awarded $450,000 in grants for historic preservation projects

Cropped image of overlay map of outlined National Register Historic Districts

National Park Service and Florida Division of Historical Resources offer unique funding sources

The City of St. Augustine will receive a total of $400,000 in federal grant funds for two historic preservation projects that focus on the mitigation of future impacts of disasters to historic resources. The areas that the City will focus on are the St. Augustine Town Plan National Historic Landmark District and older National Register Historic Districts, including Abbott Tract, Model Land Company, and Lincolnville.  Required components of this grant consist of a survey of damage from Hurricane Irma, an updated inventory of historic resources, an updated federal nomination form to amend the current National Register/Landmark listing, and preparedness measures for future disasters.  This is the same grant funding awarded recently to the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program and the St. Augustine Historical Society.

These grants are being funded by a 2019 Hurricane Irma National Park Service Subgrant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources and is being distributed from the National Park Service Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation funds.  The City of St. Augustine’s application was ranked third and fifth out of 19 projects from across the state to receive funds, thus meeting the grant specifications for repair of damaged properties and survey/ planning work.  This funding is authorized through June 30, 2021 and the City of St. Augustine will move forward to solicit consultants to complete the work.

“These projects represent a significant investment for historic preservation in St. Augustine,” said City of St. Augustine Historical Preservation Officer, Jenny Wolfe.  “All of these projects are funded with federal hazard mitigation grants, much like what will be funding portions of the Lake Maria Sanchez mitigation project.  This is a good example of how historic preservation is interwoven throughout all aspects of disaster planning and resiliency strategies.”

According to the grant solicitation, the funding is provided by the National Park Service (NPS) pursuant to its Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria (HIM) Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) Grant Program, CFDA: 15.957. Public Law 115-123 appropriated $50 million from the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) for historic preservation projects providing relief to damages in areas that have received a major disaster declaration pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 USC 5121 et seq.) as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria which occurred in 2017. The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

Simultaneously, a broader grant project, Resilient Heritage in the Nation’s Oldest City, is underway. This project kicked off with an introduction at the November 2019 Historical Architecture Review Board (HARB) meeting of project consultants Taylor Engineering, Inc., PlaceEconomics, The Craig Group, Marquis Latimer and Halback, Inc., and Archaeological Consultants, Inc.  This grant project was ranked first across the state in a separate funding program from the Florida Division of Historical Resources with $50,000 in grant funds and $50,000 in City matching funds.  The consultants on the Resilient Heritage in the Nation’s Oldest City project will plan community outreach activities to develop an interactive digital platform, develop flood mitigation design strategies for select City-stewarded properties, document the economic impacts of past and future flooding events, and provide recommendations for policy measures and prioritization for the documentation of archaeological sites.

For questions on the grant projects awarded to the City of St. Augustine, please contact Jenny Wolfe, Historic Preservation Officer, at 904-209-4326 or email jwolfe@citystaug.com.

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