By Lori Kersey, Charleston Gazette Mail
West Virginia’s fairs and festivals and other arts programs would have their state funding stripped away in a budget proposed by Gov. Jim Justice.
Justice’s proposed budget calls for a $4.3 million cut to the state Division of Culture and History, which includes the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and the State Historic Preservation Office.
The budget cut would affect all of the agency’s $4.3 million in regular lottery funding, which “contains funding for various items such as fairs and festivals, symphonies, Historic Preservation Grants [and] many other items of this type,” Mike McKown, state budget director, said in an email Thursday.
The Division of Culture and History also has $4.8 million in its general revenue budget and receives other special and federal revenue, McKown said.
– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/20170209/justices-budget-would-cut-fairs-festivals-funding-#sthash.o0HaZrUo.dpuf
Updates compiled by Mercy Klein, Preserve WV AmeriCorps
Each year, PAWV announces the West Virginia Endangered Properties List – a collection of historic resources at risk of being lost to neglect, demolition, and other human and environmental factors. PAWV works with stewards of each property to help improve and save the property so it can be reused. Preservation projects usually take several years to complete, and they need continued support after the initial listing. In the spirit of “Where are they now” updates, PAWV is doing a post about how the endangered properties’ projects are progressing. Projects featured in this post (listed alphabetically) include Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion, Homestead School, the historic Jenkins House, Old Esso Station, and Old Fayetteville High School.
The engineering design for the new drainage system was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers and the WV Division of Natural Resources. All the excavation work conducted in the interior pavilion and for the drainage system was overseen by an archaeologist. During the interior pavilion excavation, the original wood floor of the pavilion was located – as well as what is believed to be the original spring drain. However, the wood floor was left covered as it was below the level of the planned excavation.
Fundraising for the next phase of restoration will begin in 2017. The next phase will include repairing and waterproofing the foundation, installing a new floor and a roof, and other finishing touches. There are also hopes to get the community, politicians, and organizations involved in developing a “springs trail” in the area.
Friends of the Blue and GHS have worked tirelessly at making this restoration project possible, and their efforts were recognized in September 2016 by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia with its annual Preservation Persistence Award.
Homestead School, Dailey, Randolph County – 2016 List
In May of 2016, Homestead School was one of two schools under consideration for closure by the Randolph County Board of Education (BOE) – due to financial constraints, several failed school levies, a decrease in student enrollment, and costly structural and maintenance issues. During numerous BOE meetings and public hearings, many community members urged the Board to reconsider the Homestead School closure because of the building’s historical value, as well as its value as a community centerpiece. Finally, in December, after a four-hour session with community members and school employees (which included reviewing materials and answering questions presented by the Superintendent of Schools and BOE staff), the BOE unanimously voted to keep Homestead School open.
Old Esso Service Station, Fayetteville, Fayette County – 2015 List
The Old Esso Service Station’s owners submitted a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nomination for the building in November 2016. The status of the nomination (which was researched and written by PAWV’s Preserve WV AmeriCorps member at National Coal Heritage Area) is currently pending. If an NHRP listing is awarded, the owners will apply for a Historic Preservation Development Grant through the WV Division of Culture and History. If they receive the grant, they plan to utilize the funds to replace the roof; they have already obtained estimates for its replacement.
Each year, AASLH bestows the Leadership in History Awards in recognition of excellence in the field of state and local history. By publicly recognizing exceptional and meritorious achievements in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of local history, the Leadership in History Awards serve as an inspiration to others in the field, as well as bring national-level recognition to your project, your organization, and your state.
AASLH recognizes excellence in the following areas:
Applicants can self-nominate or nominate another project. Organizations of all sizes are encouraged to apply.
Deadline for nominations is March 1, 2017. Nominations can take some time to put together, so start your nomination at least 3-4 weeks before the deadline.
If you are interested in submitting an award nomination or have questions about the program, please contact Nathan Jones, the AASLH State Team Leader for West Virginia, at email@example.com. Additional information about AASLH’s award program can be found at: http://www.aaslh.org/aaslh_awards.htm
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 West Virginia Endangered Properties List. Nominations are due February 15, 2017, and the alliance plans to make the announcement for the 2017 Listing near the beginning of May 2017 in celebration of National Historic Preservation Month.
There is special criteria to be identified as a WV Endangered Property. Each property must be listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; suffer from a demonstrable preservation emergency; and maintain owner and local support for the re-use of the property in the respective community. Owner support is necessary because it’s the first step to ensuring the preservation process begins. It is PAWV’s goal to encourage owners to turn these properties into viable contributors to WV’s economy. Properties that were formerly on the endangered list but have graduated to saved include the First Ward School in Elkins and the Quarrier Diner in Charleston.
We hope you will take a look around your community for an historic building that is in need of attention, rehabilitation, speaks to the history of the community, has great potential to be re-purposed to serve community needs, and is of more value saved than destroyed. If you know of such a building, please consider taking the time to submit a nomination for the property.
Nominations forms and additional information on Endangered Properties nominations can be found here.
For more information on West Virginia Endangered Properties and a list of current Endangered Properties in West Virginia, please visit http://www.pawv.org/endanger.htm or contact PAWV’s Preserve WV AmeriCorps member, Mercy Klein, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Retreat was named a West Virginia Endangered Property in 2010 after being threatened by demolition due to development pressures in the area. PAWV is excited to share the tremendous progress the Friends of Happy Retreat has made in the last year. It was listed as West Virginia’s first National Treasure under the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Treasures “program demonstrates the value of preservation by taking direct action to protect cherished places and promote their history and significance.” Fewer than 75 places in this nation have been selected as National Treasures. Other National Treasures include Nashville’s Music Row, Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch, the Houston Astrodome, the Grand Canyon, the historic Woodlawn estate adjacent to Mount Vernon, and The National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
Happy Retreat also demonstrated its value as a community resource this year as volunteers came together to host a highly-successful craft beer and music festival. Over 1,500 people braved the 94 degree heat to enjoy the day’s events. Happy Retreat is planning to host the same event in 2017.
Project and Outreach Manager
The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. seeks a dynamic individual to join their leadership team. Candidates who possess previous experience with local or statewide “Main Street” programs/projects or related activities are preferred. Ideal candidates must have great presentation skills, verbal and written communication skills, thrive with community outreach/relations and be an avid networker and communication specialist in addition to having exceptional command and utilization of social media, Microsoft Office applications, and other web based marketing/design platforms and technology.
This position will be accountable for the following primary responsibilities:
This position provides a very competitive compensation package that is commensurate upon experience level. This position also provides health insurance. If you feel you are a good fit for this newly constructed role, please send your resume, cover letter, and a sample of your marketing or advertising work product via e-mail by no later than January 13, 2017, in confidence, to Mr. Jake Dougherty, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Updates compiled by Mercy Klein, Preserve WV AmeriCorps
Each year, PAWV announces the West Virginia Endangered Properties List – a collection of historic resources at risk of being lost to neglect, demolition, and other human and environmental factors. PAWV works with stewards of each property to help improve and save the property so it can be reused. Preservation projects usually take several years to complete, and they need continued support after the initial listing. In the spirit of “Where are they now” updates, PAWV is doing a post about how the endangered properties’ projects are progressing. Projects featured in this post (listed alphabetically) include the Ananias Pitsenbarger Farm, Wheeling’s Blue Church, Feagans Mill, 1400 Block of Wheeling’s Market Street, Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool, Staats Hospital, and the Tyler County “Poor Farm” Home.
West Virginia has 92 commercial and mixed-use historic districts ripe for revitalization – yet developers choose to invest in neighboring states instead of our downtowns due to West Virginia’s uncompetitive 10% historic rehabilitation tax credit. Neighboring states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, all have 25% historic rehabilitation tax credits. Since 2002, each of these three states has created more than 44,000 jobs in the redevelopment of historic buildings, generating more than $3 billion in total income for each state. In the same period, West Virginia’s 10% tax credit has created just 3,529 jobs, and $170 million in total income.
The state must take action to remain economically competitive with surrounding states. An increase in the current state historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25% would make West Virginia’s historic commercial districts more attractive to developers, spurring private investment.
There are a number of ways you can support the proposal to encourage redevelopment of West Virginia’s historic building, you can contact your state legislators and sign a petition. Learn more by visiting https://revitalizewvdowntowns.com.
The coalition’s members include the Abandoned Property Coalition, the American Institute of Architects WV Chapter, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Wheeling National Heritage Area, and private businesses. If your organization is interested in joining the coalition, contact PAWV at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how.
President-Elect Trump and Speaker Ryan have prioritized moving tax reform legislation in the first one hundred days of the next Congress which begins in January. A tax reform package could move quickly through Congress by way of the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority for passage in the Senate, instead of the typically needed 60 votes to cut off debate.
Ways and Means Republican Committee members will be meeting on December 14th-15th to agree on big picture elements of tax reform with a goal to have a draft bill to review in early January.
We expect tax reform legislation will follow Speaker Ryan’s “A Better Way” blue print, released earlier this year. This document recommends eliminating tax credits and deductions, which would include the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).
The Historic Tax Credit is in grave danger of elimination in tax reform. Historic Tax Credit advocacy is urgently needed, both in the near term and throughout 2017. The Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is the most significant federal financial commitment to historic preservation. Over the last 36 years, the credit has created 2.3 million jobs, leveraged $117 billion in investment, and rehabilitated more than 41,250 buildings—all while generating enough in federal revenue to pay for itself.
The Historic Tax Credit Coalition, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Trust Community Investment Corporation and allied organizations, like the Preservation Alliance of WV, are moving quickly to increase lobbying capacity. However, there is no substitute for the advocacy that you can provide. Your assistance is critical!
We are hopeful that if a sufficient number of Senators and Representatives convey their support for the HTC to party leadership and to members of the tax writing committees, the Historic Tax Credit can be retained as an important part of a reformed tax code.
Contact House Members of Congress ASAP– Call (during office hours) or email the offices of your Members of Congress before December 14th and ask to speak to tax staff or staff contacts you have in offices.
Since there are no West Virginia Representatives on the House Committee on Ways and Means, ask that they “Please contact Chairman Kevin Brady and other members of the House Ways and Means Committee to explicitly state your support of the Historic Tax Credit when reviewing draft Tax Reform Bill.”
1. HTC Fact Sheet and Key Points to share with legislators:
2. HTC Maps
a. State and Congressional Maps with Economic Data
b. Interactive Mapping Tool developed by Novogradac and Company
How to Contact Your Member of Congress
To locate the name and phone number of your House Representative or Senators go to:http://www.sos.wv.gov/public-services/contacts/Pages/federaloffices.aspx
Alternatively, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 (during office hours) and asked to be connected to your Senators’ or House Member’s DC office. Once connected to the office, you should identify yourself as a constituent, and either asked to be connected with tax staff or ask for the email of tax staff to communicate your advocacy. Then follow-up on your request.
Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act
This Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (HTCIA) provides several reform options to enhance the Historic Tax Credit as part of a reformed tax code. While the opportunity to co-sponsor this bill has past, the legislation reflects the reform ideas that have broad political support and could be included in a tax reform package.
· The House version of the bill (H.R. 3846) has attracted strong bi-partisan support on the Ways and Means Committee and presently has 53 Members of Congress supporting the bill.
· The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), introduced last March has 7 bi-partisan co-sponsors.
This year, PAWV hired Terrell Ellis & Associates (TEA) to examine the feasibility of establishing a revolving loan fund to protect historic properties in West Virginia. If determined feasible, TEA was given the task to make recommendations on the structure and management of a historic preservation revolving loan program.
In researching this matter, TEA interviewed 23 individuals representing a combination of community developers, nonprofit and for profit lenders, private developers, and professional service providers. TEA also surveyed 37 historic property owners and community developers. Based on this research, TEA recommended that PAWV move forward with the development of a revolving loan program based on the following parameters:
Now that the feasibility study has been completed, and the recommendation has been made to proceed in creating a historic properties revolving loan program, PAWV will apply for a second round of grant funds from the 1772 Foundation to develop a business plan. PAWV will also identify a nonprofit organizational partner and start raising funds for the initial capitalization of the loan program. PAWV will have the bulk of 2017 to create a business plan and fundraise for this program if awarded funds from the 1772 Foundation. Consider increasing your donation to PAWV to help us make the loan program a reality. Visit http://www.pawv.org and donate through PayPal – the button is at the bottom left-hand corner of the homepage.
The feasibility study was made possible with generous grant funding from the 1772 Foundation. The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings and farmlands for future generations. To learn more visit, http://www.1772foundation.org/. For a full copy of the feasibility study, email our executive director, Danielle LaPresta at email@example.com.
News and Notes
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