DHR’s Survey and Planning Cost Share Grant Program assists local governments in meeting their preservation planning goals through identification of historic resources. Participating localities receive partial funding and administrative support towards a preservation planning project developed in collaboration with DHR staff. Annual funding for Cost Share is limited and localities must compete to participate in the program.
A locality competes to participate in DHR’s Cost Share program by submitting a proposal to survey historic properties, prepare national register nominations, or develop preservation plans for its jurisdiction. Prior to submitting a proposal, a locality should participate in a project planning meeting with department staff. The department will match the amount of money the locality is willing to commit for the project. Department staff will assume the administrative burden of the project by hiring a consultant to do the work, and through our field offices closely monitor the project. Projects need to meet the expectations of the locality and the department.
The Cost Share Program is open to any local government or planning district commision in Virginia. In most cases, the local government provides at least one half of the cash for these projects, but DHR will entertain all proposals, regardless of the amount of local match offered. Local portions are often supplemented with funds from local historical societies and other private entities.
The Code of Virginia directs each jurisdiction to develop a comprehensive plan and to update it every five years. Additional legislation calls for each locality to incorporate cultural resources into its comprehensive plans. Surveys conducted under Cost Share can establish a usable cultural resource database. The database facilitates the environmental review process and helps avoid costly delays for state and federal agencies and for developers. Moreover, the resulting database and accompanying report can be critical tools in supporting or developing heritage tourism.
A survey report provides written and visual information for use in formal and general education outreach programs. A successful National Register nomination offers owners of historic properties the opportunity to pursue state and federal historic preservation tax credits. Tax credit projects can lead or boost revitalization efforts in communities. Other survey projects include the creation of a scripted slide presentation for use in informing area residents of important historic community properties, and to stimulate interest in learning more about their locality’s history.
The cost share program was launched in 1991, with over 120 localities participating to date.