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Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund Grants

Grants to Morris County, New Jersey Agencies, Nonprofits,
and Religious Institutions for Historic Preservation

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Morris County Office of Planning and Preservation - Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund

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Grants to Morris County, New Jersey government agencies, charitable conservancies, and religious institutions for the preservation of historical resources. The deadline to submit a declaration of intent is February 28. Funding may be requested for the stabilization, acquisition, rehabilitation, preservation, and restoration of historic resources.

Grant applications for plans and reports associated with the implementation of a historic preservation project are also eligible. All historic resources must be eligible, or certified as eligible, for the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

There are three types of applications available:

1. Projects that are principally construction-related should be detailed in the Construction application.

2. Grant requests for acquisition and preservation planning documents should be completed on the Preservation Planning application.

3. Grant requests for the preparation of Construction Documents should be completed on the Construction Documents application.

All applications should be submitted to the Morris County Office of Planning & Preservation whose staff will conduct a preliminary review to determine eligibility and application completeness. The application will then be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board, who will also visit the site and rate each application according to established criteria. The Review Board's recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of Chosen Freeholders who will determine grant awards.

Goals of Program:
1. Foster comprehensive preservation planning to ensure the continued preservation of historic resources.
2. Stimulate preservation activity by providing funding for technical assistance and restoration projects.
3. Encourage long-term facilities planning and capital budget planning of historic resources.
4. Further the stewardship of the built and natural environment by helping preserve historic structures on open space tracts.
5. Heighten the public's awareness of Morris County's irreplaceable historic character.
6. Increase opportunities for heritage tourism in the County.
7. Help insure that preservation planning is an integral part of community development.

Eligible Activities:

All of the eligible activities listed below must be in conformance with the Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties 1995 (also known as the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation). These regulations must be followed as currently in effect or as they may be subsequently modified, changed or amended.

All applicants that plan to submit construction grant requests exceeding $50,000 must have prepared a Preservation Plan and obtained professional construction cost estimates based on construction documents before they are eligible to apply for funding toward the actual construction. Applicants may apply for a Non-Construction Grant that includes the preparation of a Preservation Plan, construction documents, construction cost estimates by a State of New Jersey-certified professional cost estimator, and/or relevant reports or analysis. The construction cost estimate must be escalated two (2) years to the anticipated construction period.

After obtaining a professional construction cost estimate, the applicant may apply for a Construction Grant that includes bidding, construction, and construction administration.

Construction grant applications must include a Maintenance Plan which conforms to the guidelines in the most current version of Historic Structure Reports & Preservation Plans – A Preparation Guide from the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office.

1. Acquisition - the purchase in fee simple of an eligible property, structure, facility, site, area or object by the County, a municipality or charitable conservancy.

The applicant must meet the following requirements:
a. The property must be purchased by an eligible applicant.
b. Applicant must submit at least one independent market appraisal in accordance with the historic preservation appraisal requirements.
c. No grant money may be used toward appraisals, attorney fees or other closing costs.
d. The applicant must provide at least 50 percent of the acquisition cost.
e. The Historic Preservation Program’s match shall not exceed 50% of the Accepted Market Value (AMV).
f. The applicant must provide written assurance that the grant would go toward reducing the mortgage with any balance dedicated to future rehabilitation and restoration of the property.
Generally, an applicant would not have closed on the property prior to the grant award. However, if they have closed on the property prior to award, the above submission criteria would still apply. However, in no event may the title to the property be acquired earlier than one year prior to the application submission deadline.

2. Stabilization - the essential protection of a deteriorated structure, facility or object as it exists at present, establishing structural stability and a weather-resistant enclosure.

3. Rehabilitation - the act or process of making possible the compatible use of a property through repair and alteration while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural or architectural value.

4. Restoration - the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features and character of a property as it appears at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods and historically accurate re-creation of missing features from the restoration period.

5. Preservation - the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity and material of a historic property.

6. Plans and Reports - permitted when related to the development, and implementation of historic preservation projects, including the preparation of:

a. Architectural plans, designs, specifications, cost estimates and other contract documents
b. Feasibility studies
c. Historic structures reports
d. Historic landscape reports
e. Archeological reports
f. Engineering reports
g. Historic research reports
h. Preservation Plans
i. National Register of Historic Places nomination forms

7. Religious institutions - eligible activities include Historic Structure Reports, Preservation Plans, and Assessment Reports; and the preparation of construction documents and completion of construction activities for the exterior building elements, and the building’s structural and MEP systems (mechanical, electrical and plumbing).

8. Cemeteries that are individually listed on or eligible for the New Jersey or National Register of Historic Places: Eligible activities include the preparation of reports, assessments and studies that document the conditions of tombstones or other elements of the cemetery; and the preparation of construction documents and completion of construction activities for all historic cemetery elements.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178703

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
1. Municipal governments within Morris County
2. Morris County Government
3. Charitable conservancies whose purpose includes historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas or objects, or the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas or objects for historic preservation purposes. Charitable conservancies submitting applications must include documentation of their tax-exempt status. This includes charitable conservancies whose purpose is to preserve state and federal owned historic sites.
4. Religious institutions

Eligible Properties:
1. The property must be located in Morris County.
2. The property must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the New Jersey Register of Historic Places, individually or as part of a historic district listed on the New Jersey Register and National Register.
3. If not listed on either Register, the property must be certified as eligible for listing by the State Historic Preservation Office, either as an individually listed site or as part of a historic district. A Certificate of Eligibility letter or a State Historic Preservation Officer Opinion (SHPO Opinion) issued by the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Officer or proof of State and National Register status must be included with the application.

Ownership of Project Properties:
1. Owner consent is required to submit any application, except for an acquisition.
2. For Construction Grants: If the applicant is not the owner, then the applicant must be able to prove possession and significant control over the property through a valid lease. The unexpired term of the lease must be 20 years from the date of application.
3. For Preservation Planning and Construction Documents Grants: If the applicant is not the owner or lessee with a 20 year unexpired lease term, then the applicant must be able to prove significant involvement with the property's preservation. Additionally, applicants for the preparation of a New Jersey Register of Historic Places nomination require an owner's consent to place the property in the Register.
4. All properties that are to be purchased must be purchased in fee simple and the purchasing entity must have full control of the land.

Ineligible Activities:
1. Reconstruction
2. Administrative or operational costs of the agency
3. Ceremonial expenses
4. Publicity expenses
5. Bonus payments of any kind
6. Charges in excess of the lowest qualified bid when competitive bidding is required
7. Charges for deficits or overdrafts
8. Interest expense (or other financing costs)
9. Damage judgments arising from construction or equipping a facility, whether determined by judicial process, arbitration, negotiation, or otherwise
10. Contract cost overruns, not approved, which exceed the allowable amount under the contract specifications
11. Fundraising or lobbying
12. Work including construction, research, and preparation of plans and reports performed outside the approved project period
13. Work not intended in the scope of work set forth in the agreement, including construction, research and preparation of plans and reports
14. Work that does not comply with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards. Work performed on behalf of a municipal government that has not been awarded in compliance with the State Contracts Law (N.J.S.A.52:32-1 et seq.)
15. Work performed on behalf of a nonprofit corporation which has not been awarded in compliance with public bidding requirements if the costs of any contract for the historic preservation project funded with a historic preservation grant exceeds $50,000.
16. Routine or ongoing maintenance work such as grounds maintenance, painting or cleaning that is not part of a comprehensive project.
17. Relocation of structures, buildings or objects unless all of the following standards are met: a. Relocation is necessary to preserve the historic resource; and b. The relocation re-establishes the property's historic orientation, the immediate setting, and the general environment; and c. The State Historic Preservation Officer determines that the property, as relocated, will continue to meet New Jersey Register criteria.
18. Interpretive activities such as displays, signs, etc.

Pre-proposal Conference:

You are invited to attend a workshop in which staff will discuss the Historic Preservation Trust Fund grant program.

The 2018 Grant Application Workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:00 - 8:30 PM at 300 Mendham Road (County Route 510) Morris Township, New Jersey. (Snow Date: Thursday, February 1, 2018 at the Morris County Cultural Center.)

The workshop will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the program and suitability of projects such as:
-Is my project eligible?
-What kinds of projects were funded in the past?
-Are Construction Documents required for construction projects?
-Can religious institutions or cemeteries apply?
-What if my project isn’t currently listed on the National and New Jersey Registers?

Light refreshments will be served.

Pre-Application Information:

To be eligible for a grant that requires match funding, the applicant shall, as part of the application, show evidence of matching funds in hand or demonstrate clearly the ability to match the grant requested.

Match Funding Requirements:
-Construction: The Trust Fund will pay 80%; applicant will pay 20%
-Acquisition: The Trust Fund will pay 50%; applicant will pay 50%
-Preservation Planning & Construction Documents if less than or equal to $5,000: The Trust Fund will pay 100%; applicant will pay 0%
-If more than $5,000: The Trust Fund will pay 80%; applicant will pay 20%

Please be reminded that, for projects that have received Program funding for the preparation of Construction Documents, the following deadlines must be met to be considered for construction related funds for the year 2018:

-By January 8, 2018 (Monday) – 75% Construction Documents must be delivered to Morris County for review.
-By February 28, 2018 (Wednesday) – 100% Construction Documents must be delivered to Morris County for review.

Projects failing to meet the submittal dates will not be considered for Construction funding in the 2018 funding round.

Those projects for which Construction Documents were prepared without Program funding are welcomed to submit their Construction Documents for a preliminary review prior to the Grant Application deadline of March 29, 2018. They may also submit completed Construction Documents with their Construction Grant Applications.

The deadline to submit a Declaration of Intent is Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

2018 Applications are due on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 4:30 PM.

More information about applications may be found here:

Rules and Regulations:

Contact Information:

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

Ray Chang
(973) 829-8138

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey: Morris County