She explained in past reviews Auburn’s business district east of the corner of highways 136 and 75 was identified as a great example of period architecture and living catalog of structures from the late 1800 to today.
Being recognized as a historic district not only identifies the historic significance of the buildings but also can include a story of historical significance.
Although courthouse square business district was not earlier identified with the more than 50% of historical significant buildings, it is anticipated by Audrey and Jill that area could be also considered with the story of Calvert and Sheridan merging to become Auburn.
The Council was concerned that such a designation would restrict property owners of what they could or couldn’t do to their property. Audrey explained there would be no federal or state restrictions unless federal or state grants are used for a project. Currently without the ‘historic district’ designation there are already restrictions when using state or federal funds for an older structure. The only oversight of a historic district would be the Certified Local Government board of at least five local citizens. Property owners can receive tax credits for work done on their property within the district.
A Certified Local Government (CLG) would have to be formed by ordinance. Audrey and Jill explained it would be possible to obtain grant funds to help apply for the historic district designation. The estimated cost of this in lengthy application is approximately $10,000. The grant would cover 60% with the 40% match paid locally and could be in kind work.
The city council referred this to the ordinance committee to make a recommendation at the next council meeting.