Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Historic preservation: Program highlights incentives for historic buildings

Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–Interested in learning about financial incentives for preserving historic buildings? 
If so, The Galena Foundation, First Community Bank of Galena and the DeSoto House are sponsoring a historic preservation program “Financial Incentives for Historic Buildings,” on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 6-8 p.m., at the DeSoto House Hotel.

This program may be of interest if you are planning any major projects on a designated historic home or if your commercial building is located in the National Register Historic District. The program covers saving money with historic tax incentives and other financial sources for rehabilitation work.

Homeowners of owner-occupied residences can receive property tax benefits by qualifying for the property tax assessment freeze program. Income-producing property owners (commercial, office, rental residential, bed and breakfast, etc.) can qualify for federal income tax credits by utilizing the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Easements and a limited number of grants may also be available for certain historic buildings. 

Carol Dyson, AIA, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency chief architect and tax incentives manager, and Frank Butterfield, Landmarks Illinois Springfield office director, will present program information. 

This is an opportunity to learn about the different applications and eligibility procedures for each of these programs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

City, Galena Foundation plan to make improvements to Grant Park

by Hillary Dickerson, editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–The Galena City Council, during its Monday, Sept. 28 meeting, approved a memorandum of understanding with the Galena Foundation for improvements to Grant Park. 

In a letter to the council, Charles Marsden, president of the Galena Foundation, explained work would include the development of a master plan for the improvement of the park prepared by a licensed landscape architect, a tree inventory prepared by a certified arborist, and research of the park’s plantings using historic information and photography. 

“The work of the project is intended to improve the appearance and appeal of Grant Park as a venue, to be enjoyed by people living in and visiting Galena, reduce maintenance costs for the city, and promote public involvement in the maintenance of plantings in Grant Park,” Marsden wrote. 

There is currently not a cost estimate for the project, Marsden said. The master plan and tree inventory need to be completed before that information will be available. 

Marsden indicated it is the intention of the Galena Foundation to “take on 100 percent of the effort to develop this project by undertaking the development of the master plan and tree inventory, followed by the prioritization of improvements to be made to the park. Once this prioritization is established, funding will be obtained for the improvements.”

There was little discussion by council members other than to thank the Galena Foundation for the work it does for the community. 

The council will hear more about the project as new information becomes available and the project moves forward.