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Grants to Connecticut Nonprofits and Municipalities for Historic Preservation Planning and Preparation


Geographic Focus

USA: Connecticut

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Survey and Planning Grants For Historic Preservation Planning and Pre-Development

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) - Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #155737

Grant Description

Grants of up to $20,000 to Connecticut municipalities and nonprofit organizations for the planning and pre-development associated with the preservation of historic sites and properties. Eligible projects include designation reports, designation reports, and pre-development studies.

Historic Designation Reports:

Survey and Planning Grants can be used to fund a variety of historic designation reports including:
-National Historic Landmark Nominations
-National Register of Historic Places Nominations
-Connecticut State Register of Historic Places Nominations
-Local Historic District or Properties Reports

Historic Designation Reports are completed by an Architectural Historian or a Historian who meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards as published in the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR Part 61.

Municipal Historic Preservation Planning Reports:

Historic Preservation Planning Reports can assist a municipality with integrating historic preservation and a community’s cultural resources into the local planning and design process. These plans can be used to assist in developing reports that involve land use, streetscapes, traffic, and signage. These reports can also be developed to assist a municipality in creating historic preservation plans or chapters of a plan of conservation and development. An analysis of the physical, social, and economic characteristics of the area serves as a basis for recommendations which may include rehabilitation guidelines, overlay zoning or historic designations. Municipal Historic Preservation Planning Reports should be completed by a Historic Preservation Planner; however other consultants may be used with approval from SHPO.

Pre-Development Studies:

Survey and Planning Grants can be use to hire a qualified consultant to complete pre-development studies on historic resources owned by Connecticut 501(c)3 or 501(c)13 nonprofits or municipalities, or if a municipality has a financial interest in the resource. A “Historic Resource” is defined as a property or site listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places.

Eligible activities in this program area include:

-Historic Structures Reports- document the history and existing physical condition of a property through research, photographs, physical exploration, etc. The report also provides guidance for the future use, repair, maintenance, etc. of the property. These reports are completed by a 36 CFR Part 61 qualified Historical Architect or an engineer.

-Feasibility or Adaptive Reuse Studies-analyze the reuse potential of an existing building and identifies possible new uses, financial strategies, and cost estimates. A feasibility or adaptive reuse study may include preliminary architectural plans completed by a 36 CFR Part 61 qualified Historical Architect.

-Structural Soundness Studies-assess a structure’s physical stability. Structural Soundness Studies are conducted by a structural engineer.

-Condition Assessment Reports-assess a resource’s current, existing conditions on a comprehensive basis. Condition assessments can be prepared for a variety of resources including buildings, monuments, objects, bridges, etc. A condition assessment will prioritize the work necessary to rehabilitate or restore a property and will also include cost estimates and/or a proposed budget. These reports include a discussion on building materials, failure of those materials, code violations, and ADA accessibility. For reports on buildings, the condition assessment should be prepared by a 36 CFR Part 61 qualified Historical Architect.

-Architectural Plans and Specifications-must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and be prepared by a 36 CFR Part 61 qualified Historical Architect or an engineer. If the applicant is planning on using the plans and specifications for a Historic Restoration Fund grant application, the documents should be prepared to Design Development Level.

The following criteria are the basis for the review of Survey and Planning Grant applications:
-Clear narrative describing the proposed project
-Ability of the product to have a positive impact on local historic preservation efforts
-Thoroughness and appropriateness of the project budget
-Feasibility of the product’s/program’s success
-Evidence that the product with do one or more of the following: a. Inventory and survey the state’s cultural resources; b. Encourage new awareness of historic preservation at the local level; c. Expand the scope of current public education outreach; d. Produce written or website materials for property owners and/or town officials; e. Nomination of historic resources to the State or National Registers of Historic Properties; f. Produce high-quality pre-development documents

Grant Administration:

Once a grant is awarded, SHPO will send the grantee an Assistance Agreement between DECD and the grantee. These contracts must be signed and returned to SHPO within 30 days. Grantees are required to credit SHPO and the Survey and Planning Grant program in all print, audio, video, internet and publicity materials. As stated above, eligible expenses must be pre-approved by SHPO.

SHPO has the right to withhold, reduce, or cancel grants if the grantee:
-Owes a final report from a previous SHPO grant
-Fails to comply with the terms of the grant contract
-Demonstrates inadequate financial management or oversight
-Does not properly credit SHPO’s support
-Experiences significant changes in programs or services
-Cancels or suspends a grant funded project

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
-Connecticut municipalities
-501(c)(3) or 501(c)13 nonprofit organizations that have had tax-exempt status for at least two years
-501(c)(3) or 501(c)13 nonprofit organizations that have had tax-exempt status for less than two years but can demonstrate at least a 5 year-history of sustainable historic preservation program activity (must be individually approved as eligible for funding by the Historic Preservation Council)

Ineligible applicants:
-Federal agencies
-State agencies
-“Friends” groups of federal or state agencies except for projects involving archaeological survey projects on state land.
-For-profit businesses or organizations
-Service organizations or clubs

Ineligible Activities and Costs:
-Costs incurred prior to the contract start date
-Costs incurred after to the contract expiration date
-Acquisition of real estate
-Archaeological salvage
-Capital expenses
-Construction, restoration, rehabilitation
-Court actions
-Equipment purchase
-Fines or penalties
-Fundraising efforts
-General operating expenses
-Hospitality expenses including food, beverages, entertainment
-Interest payments
-Interpretive expenses
-Lobbying activities
-Nonconformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
-Projects already underway
-Political contributions
-Software acquisition

Pre-Application Information:

Survey and Planning Grants must be matched 50%/50% with cash. State funds cannot be used as a match. A proposed project budget can exceed the total of the matching grant; however, additional sources of non-state funding must be identified on the Financing Plan and Budget.

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis on the first Monday of February, May, August and November.

All complete applications will be reviewed by SHPO staff and considered for funding. Once an application is reviewed, SHPO will contact the applicant with any questions or points of clarification.

If the application is complete, applicants will be asked to make a presentation to the Historic Preservation Council who votes to award the grant. The Historic Preservation Council meets the first Wednesday of each month.

Grants are made on a reimbursement basis.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $20,000

Term of Contract:

SHPO has the right to withhold, reduce or cancel grants if an organization does not start a project within 90 days of the grant contract execution.

Contact Information:

Mary Dunne

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