Each year the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) awards matching grants to local governments whose municipal historic preservation program has been certified by the Commission. We expect about $50,000 will be available for these grants for the coming year with $10,000 reserved for a Certified Local Government (CLG) to co-sponsor the 2014 Statewide Historic Preservation Conference.
In awarding the remainder of CLG funds, the Commission will give highest priority to projects which address important preservation needs within the applicant community or which address a statewide preservation need. The Historic Preservation Plan adopted by the RIHPHC and the historic preservation element in local community comprehensive plans will provide the context for evaluating project applications. Special consideration will be given to projects which address the needs of an endangered property or properties which have extraordinary significance. Applications may be submitted for surveys to identify and evaluate historic properties; preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places; a variety of planning activities; and public education activities and publications.
Restoration construction projects are not encouraged to apply for CLG grants because funding is very limited. However, architectural studies, plans and specifications, and building reuse feasibility studies are eligible for grants. These types of projects may be particularly appropriate for endangered resources.
Grant awards are selected through a process of scoring and ranking applications based upon the above funding priorities, as well as criteria such as architectural/historical significance of relevant properties; project impact on the community; geographic distribution of grants throughout the state; follow-through on previous historic preservation work; and the CLG's ability to meet general program requirements such as complying with applicable federal regulations, providing an adequate matching share, and presenting a scope of work which can be completed on schedule.
Currently, sixteen communities are eligible to apply for CLG grants: Bristol, Cranston, Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Glocester, Hopkinton, Newport, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Providence, South Kingstown, and Warwick. Communities with certification applications on file before the application deadline may submit grant proposals for Commission consideration in the event that certification is approved.
Applications must be submitted to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, The Old State House, 150 Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday, January 4, 2013. Applicants should contact their local planning office well in advance of this deadline for needed signatures.
For further information about CLG certification and grants, please email Sharon Allison or call her at (401)222-4131.