Sparta inquiring on its eligibility to submit its historic district for the National Register of Historic Places.
Historical Zoning Commission Chair Kim Griffin said the idea came about through the consulting firm that is currently updating the city’s historic district guidelines.
“The next step is for him to present his proposal, and I believe he said sometime in August he should have something for us to look at” Griffin said.
Griffin said if the new guidelines and historic district qualifies, business owners can get a 20 percent tax credit on improvements and apply for preservation grants. A state review board considers proposals throughout the year.
Griffin said the same man that created the historic guidelines 30 years ago is leading the application. Sparta contracted with Historic Preservation Phil Thomason who held a community feedback session this week.
“He showed old photos of what the old Sparta historical area used to look like in the early 1900’s, so he had a number of photos to present to the group what the possibilities are so the owners have an idea of what they are working towards,” Griffin said. “He used that as a jumping off point for them to ask questions.”
Griffin said business leaders inquired on items such as building color and materials that could possibly change in the new guidelines.
“Materials have changed in the last 30 years of when we made our guidelines.” Griffin said. “I’m really looking forward on having new information on materials that would be good substitute for things that might b harder to find,” Griffin said.
A $20,000 grant covers the cost with Sparta matching $8,000.