OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you.
Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willing to serve on a local five-member board.
Supervisor Steve Siegel suggested the county board wait two weeks to withdraw from the program in hopes of finding people willing to help with local historic preservation programs.
The National Historic Preservation Act established a nationwide program to encourage preservation and wise use of our historic resources. Among other things, the act established the National Register of Historic Places, created State Historic Preservation Officers and created the Certified Local Government (CLG) program to support local governments' historic preservation programs.
The local CLG program purpose is to encourage historic preservation at the local level through governmental sponsorships. The committee’s responsibility would include identifying, evaluating and registering historical properties in Wapello County. In addition, they could maintain a file/inventory of all properties as well as conduct a public review and comment on National Register of Historic places nominations of properties within the county’s jurisdiction.
The local committee also would receive free historic preservation training and technical assistance from the state’s historic preservation staff. Counties in the CLG program will qualify for REAP (Historic Resource Development program) grants for rehabilitating city or county-owned properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the county can qualify for a small, competitive, matching CLG grant program. The grants are used to underwrite all historic preservation activities except rehabilitation.
Persons interesting in becoming a part of a local committee should contact Wapello County Supervisors Jerry Parker, Steve Siegel or Greg Kenning.