Workshops available for Pierce County historic preservation grant applicants

Pierce County’s historic preservation office has announced it will host a series of workshops to assist people interested in applying for historic preservation grant funds.
The workshops will be held May 15 through June 5, and will be conducted in locations throughout the county. Here is the workshop schedule:

1. Thurs., May 15 / 3:00-5:00 p.m. / Conference Room D / Pierce County Annex / 2401 South 35th St / Tacoma, WA 98409

2. Thurs., May 22 / 3:00-5:00 p.m. / Lakewood Library Meeting Room / 6300 Wildaire Rd SW / Lakewood, WA 98499

3. Weds., May 28 / 3:00-5:00 p.m. / Peninsula Library / 4424 Point Fosdick Dr NW / Gig Harbor, WA 98335

4. Thurs., May 29 / 3:00-5:00 p.m. / South Hill Library / 15420 Meridian E / Puyallup, WA 98375

5. Weds., June 4 / 3:00-5:00 p.m. / Parkland-Spanaway Library / 13718 Pacific Ave S / Tacoma, WA 98444

6. Thurs., June 5 / 3:00-5:00 p.m. / Eatonville Library / 205 Center St W / Eatonville, WA 98328

On April 28, the county’s historic preservation office announced it will begin to accept applications May 1 for a grant program that will provide $200,000 toward preservation and history-related projects county-wide.
The county will accept grant requests ranging from $2,000 to $25,000, and applications will be accepted until July 7 at 4:30 p.m. Prospective project activities must take place in Pierce County and be completed by Sept. 15, 2009. Owners of historic property, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies are eligible to apply.
Funding for the grant program traces back to the state Legislature, which passed a law directing $1 of a $5-dollar filing fee toward general historic preservation. The law was passed in 2006, and the has county accrued approximately $912,000. So far, $342,000 has been directed to county departments for document storage and retention, leaving $570,000 for preservation. Looking ahead, revenue collected through the filing fee is expected to direct approximately $312,000 annually toward historic preservation in the county.
Last fall, an ad hoc committee that included stakeholders from Historic Tacoma, Washington State Archives, Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma Historical Society, Puyallup Library, City of Tacoma, the county preservation officer Park, and others interested in historic preservation recommended the funds be used to conduct a county-wide survey of existing historical buildings; identify historic documents within the county in danger of being discarded or destroyed, and preserve them; turn the county’s half-time preservation officer position into a full-time job; hire a dedicated half-time grant writer; and increase the number of landmarks commissioners from nine to eleven.
If you are interested in apply for a grant, an application is available on the county’s Web site:
– (PDF) http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/xml/services/home/property/pals/other/historicpresgrantapplication.pdf .
– (WORD) http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/xml/services/home/property/pals/other/historicpresgrantapplication.doc .
For more information, visit http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/services/home/property/pals/other/histpres.htm .

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In April, the Index explored the issue of Pierce County historic preservation in a feature article published in this newspaper (“Behind The Times,” 04/02/08) and on Exit133.com. To read the article, visit http://www.exit133.com/3064/behind-the-times .