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Certified Local Government (CLG) Grant

Grants to Vermont Local Governments for the
Preservation of Historically Significant Sites

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Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (VDHP)

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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to Vermont local governments to support a broad range of historic preservation activities. Funding may be requested for site surveys, preparing nominations for the National Register of Historic Places, preservation planning, information and education projects, pre-development for construction work, and bricks and mortar construction work.

CLG matching grants can be used to fund a wide variety of local preservation projects, including the following:

-Architectural, historical, archeological surveys, and oral histories that help identify significant and ordinary properties;
-Preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places;
-Research and development of historic context information;
-Staff work for historic preservation commissions, including designation of properties under local landmarks ordinances;
-Writing or amending preservation ordinances;
-Preparation of preservation plans;
-Public information and education activities;
-Publication of historic sites inventories;
-Development and publication of design guidelines;
-Preparation of zoning studies;
-Development and publication of walking/driving tours;
-Development of slide/tape shows, videotapes;
-Training for commission members and staff;
-Development of architectural drawings and specifications;
-Preparation of streetscape, facade studies, or condition assessments; and
-In some years, rehabilitation or restoration of properties individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places or contributing to a National Register historic district.


The Certified Local Government (CLG) program is designed to provide an opportunity for local governments to become more directly involved in identifying, evaluating, protecting, promoting and enhancing the educational and economic value of historic resources at the local level.

A local government wishing to become a CLG must fulfill certain requirements indicating its commitment to local preservation. One requirement is the establishment of a local Historic Preservation Review commission. The local government appoints to the commission professional and lay members with varied expertise and interest related to historic preservation. As the advisory body to the legislative body and planning commission, the historic preservation commission becomes the coordinating body for community preservation activities. It prepares reports on National Register eligible properties, sponsors public information programs on historic preservation, and prepares applications for CLG grants, if the community chooses to apply for grant funds. VDHP provides training for the CLG commission on their CLG responsibilities and preservation topics in general.

The matching grants available Certified Local Government communities can be used to fund local preservation activities such as surveys of historic resources, National Register nominations, preservation planning and educational projects. Grants are also available for architectural plans and specifications, engineering reports, feasibility and streetscape studies, and in some years, for "bricks and mortar" rehabilitation work on National Register-listed properties.

Project Categories:

There are six broad project categories within which a CLG may apply for grant funding:

All grant projects must include a public information component about the purpose of the project and the value of historic preservation to the local community.

Priority I Projects:

-Survey projects must conform to the Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey or Vermont Archaeological Inventory, as appropriate. The survey identifies those buildings, structures, sites, complexes and districts that are significant in Vermont's history. Depending upon the extent of survey required in the community, it may be advisable to phase the survey over more than one year. For assistance in designing a survey project, the applicant should contact the VDHP in advance of preparing the grant application. Survey projects are eligible for 60% CLG grant funding with a 40% local match (cash and/or in-kind).

-National Register projects, to be most cost-effective, should be for historic districts and/or multiple property nominations identified by the CLG commission, along with the VDHP, as being eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. A “historic district” possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development. A “multiple property listing” is a cover document that serves as the basis for evaluating the National Register eligibility of related properties. Individual properties can also be nominated. The National Register program director at the VDHP can assist in designing these projects. National Register projects are eligible for 60% CLG grant funding with a 40% local match (cash and/or in-kind).

-Preservation Planning must be in cooperation with the Vermont Historic Preservation Plan, the statewide preservation planning process. The current plan was published in early 2011. Through the survey and National Register process, and applying the information from the Plan’s themes, a community can identify and evaluate its significant properties and establish goals and priorities for their continued use and protection. This information should be integrated into the community's land planning documents and conservation efforts. The VDHP can assist any applicant with a planning project. Preservation Planning projects are eligible for 60% CLG grant funding with a 40% local match (cash and/or in-kind).

-Information and Education projects inform the general public about the value of historic preservation. Every CLG grant project must contain a public information and education component. But a CLG may apply for a grant to do ONLY a public information and education project. This is an excellent way to publicize the workings of the CLG commission. The CLG can sponsor programs, brochures or a newspaper series. For instance, special events in May for Preservation Month or in September for Vermont Archeology Month, can be eligible for funding. Training CLG commission members and staff of the municipality working with the commission are eligible for funding. Contact the VDHP for clarification on allowable costs. Information and Education projects are eligible for 60% CLG grant funding with a 40% local match (cash and/or in-kind).

-Pre-Development projects plan for the work necessary to carry out construction work. Architectural plans and specifications, historic structures reports, engineering studies, archaeological testing and feasibility studies are types of pre-development work. (A historic structures report analyzes the property, establishes preservation priorities and a schedule to accomplish them).

To be eligible to apply for a CLG grant for a pre-development project, the project must be for a property - or properties - listed in the National Register of Historic Places or determined eligible by the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and will be nominated before or as part of the pre-development project. The project work must provide information necessary to carry out a development project that will meet "The Secretary's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties." (The Standards follow the next section on "Development Projects"). The level of information produced by the proposed pre-development project should be determined by the needs of the property. Nevertheless, the products produced by the pre-development grant project must clearly be consistent with the Standards.

Priority II Projects:

Funding is awarded to Priority II projects only after all eligible Priority I projects have been funded and if there is still grant money available to award.

-Development projects are actual "bricks and mortar" construction work. To be eligible to apply for a CLG grant for a development project:

1. The project must be for a property that is listed in the National Register.

2. The property must be owned by the municipality.

3. The property must be open to the public.

4. The property must be accessible to the handicapped.

5. The project must conform to local and regional plans.

6. The project work must be for stabilization or restoration work which contributes to preserving the historic qualities and architectural features of the property which make it eligible for the National Register. New additions, code improvements, utility systems work and most routine maintenance are ineligible for funding.

7. The project work must meet "The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties." (See the following section on the Standards).

8. Most development project work will require architectural plans and specifications. They are not required before the CLG submits the grant application. However, if plans are available they should be submitted with the application to assist the VDHP and Council in reviewing the proposed project. The cost of architectural plans and specifications and on-site architectural supervision is an allowable cost for a development grant project and should be included in the budget on the application. However, costs incurred by the CLG prior to the award of the grant cannot be included in the grant project budget.

9. The CLG, in its Grant Agreement with the VDHP for a development project grant, will agree to "...assume the cost of continued maintenance and repair of the property so as to preserve the architectural, historical, or archaeological integrity of the property for 5 years in order to protect those qualities that made the property eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Nothing in this agreement shall prohibit the subgrantee from seeking financial assistance from any source (including Historic Preservation Fund development grants) available to it."

Allowability of Costs:

All costs must directly relate to the accomplishment of the approved project. In general, the types of costs which are allowable include: accounting/auditing, advertising for consultants, communications such as telephone and postage, project consultants' fees, materials and supplies consumed by the project, mileage, personnel costs (including wages and fringe benefits), printing and reproduction. Any other costs are unallowable, unless specifically approved in writing by the VDHP. The budget in the Grant Agreement for the grant will list the approved costs. All project costs must be incurred through proper Procurement Requirements described further in this manual).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143861

Estimated Size of Grant:

These grants are typically for projects in the $5,000 - $10,000 range.

Term of Contract:

Each CLG grant has a two-year period within which to complete the project.

Grantees may commence work on the project in March 2018. The deadline to complete the project is August 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

There are five standards that must be met in order to become a Certified Local Government.
-Pass local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties;
-Create a qualified historic preservation review commission with design review authority;
-Maintain a system for survey and inventory of historic properties;
-Provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program; and
-Satisfactorily perform the responsibilities delegated to it by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

Current CLG Communities are listed here:

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must be a Certified Local Government to receive a CLG grant. More information about becoming a Certified Local Governments may be found here:

Priority I CLG grants are awarded at a 60% federal/40% local match ratio, and Priority II CLG grants are awarded at a 50% federal/50% local match ratio. The matching share can be cash, donated or in-kind services, or a combination of the three.

Pre-development projects will be funded on a 50/50 matching basis, or up to 60% if enough CLG funds are available. Development projects will be funded on a 50/50 matching basis, or up to 60% if CLG funds are available.

All grant funds are paid on a reimbursement basis at the successful completion of the project.

The deadline for CLG Grant Applications is December 18.

Because CLG grants are funded by the National Park Service, the program cycle follows the federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). CLG grants are awarded annually.

2018 Grant Program Cycle:
-October 1, 2017: Start of federal fiscal year 2018.
-October 16, 2017: VDHP notifies all CLG communities of the availability of CLG grant funding and provides a link to the grant application.
-December 18, 2017: CLG grant applications and all supporting materials must be submitted to VDHP.
-January 2018: VDHP staff review all applications and present them to the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (VACHP). After review and discussion, VACHP scores each grant application and awards funding. VDHP notifies each applicant of the results of the VACHP application review.
-February 2018: Preparation and execution of Grant Agreement between sub-recipient and VDHP.
-March 2018: Commence work on the project.
-September 30, 2018: End of federal fiscal year 2018
-October 1, 2018: Start of federal fiscal year 2019
-December 1, 2018: Initial progress report must be submitted to VDHP.
-April 1, 2019: Second progress report must be submitted to VDHP.
-August 1, 2019: Deadline to complete the project.
-August – September 2019: Sub-recipient completes final budget form, documents proof of payment and local match, and writes final project report. Submit all of these materials to VDHP with the request for reimbursement.
-September 30, 2019: End of federal fiscal year 2019. All 2017 CLG grant projects must be completed, paid and closed out by this date. Extensions beyond this date are not possible.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Devin Colman, State Architectural Historian
(802) 828-3043

Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
One National Life Drive
Deane C. Davis Building, Floor 6
Montpelier, Vermont 05620-0501

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont