Old Town grants help neighborhood | ParkRecord.com

Old Town grants help neighborhood

Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Michael van Oordt lives in Midway but lived in Park City for most of the past 14 years.

He wants to move back to Park City and when he does he plans to live in an Old Town house he will refurbish.

Van Oordt intends to use a grant from City Hall to help fix up his house, 1002 Norfolk Ave., which he says is about 100 years old. He is among a few people since the fall who have applied for City Hall’s Old Town grants, often called historic-district grants.

In early May, van Oordt received a $16,679 grant from the government for work at the house. He says that the grant will help pay for wooden window frames and trim, foundation work and a door on the outside of the house.

"I just believe Old Town has so much charm. The grant program is an incentive for homeowners," van Oordt says.

The Old Town grants are one of City Hall’s most enduring programs, helping scores of people pay for upgrades at their houses since 1987. The many supporters say that the grants have ensured that the houses and buildings did not fall into disrepair and that the neighborhood is nicer because of the money that was spent.

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The grants, which must be matched by the property owner, are available all year and may be used for a variety of work, including siding, windows, repairs to porches, foundation work and outside doors and trim.

They may not pay for other work, such as remodeling the inside, painting the inside, repairing non-original features and landscaping.

The grants are available to people who have historic homes or historic commercial properties.

People seeking the grants must submit an application, a summary of the proposed work, including a detailed estimate of costs, drawings, color photographs of the current state of the property and a brief history of the structure.

People who receive grants must sign an agreement saying that if the property is sold within five years, the grant monies will be repaid at a pro-rated amount with interest.

The city’s Historic Preservation Board decides whether to award grants and the amount. Since 2004, the board has reviewed applications each month. Previously, the grants were awarded once a year.

People must submit applications by the 10th of each month for the board to consider the request at a meeting the following month.

ReNae Rezac, in the Planning Department, says City Hall has received fewer applications since the scheduled was altered to allow people to submit applications all year.

"There are months we go without getting any," Rezac says.

At its next meeting, the board will consider three applications, she says.

The board in 2006 has awarded four grants, with Van Oordt’s being the largest. Others who have received grants in 2006, according to the Planning Department, include:

( Vickie Crosby, 419 Main St., $887.40

( Ken Soule and Lance Kincaid, 104 Park Ave., $9,000

( Tina Smith, 1135 Park Ave., $2,757.50.

Van Oordt, the Norfolk Avenue homeowner, says the grant he received will ensure that the renovation of his house will go well.

"With the help of that grant, I can do it right," he says.

More information about the grants is available at the Planning Department. The department’s phone number is 615-5060.