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Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

School board briefed on test scores

The Colonial Beach School Board met July 8 for the first time since school let out.
The summer break ...

The bombs bursting in air...

The bombs bursting in air...

Residents of Colonial Beach enjoyed a grand time Saturday night as the town set off fireworks to mar...

Beach facade program off to a slow start

Out of 30 properties located in the downtown revitalization area only eight property owners have sub...

Colonial Beach Council approves 6-cent tax increase

The Colonial Beach Town Council has approved the advertised budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The ...

Beach plans July 4th spectacular

Beach plans July 4th spectacular

Come celebrate America's 239th  year of independence in Colonial Beach. Stroll the beach, swim,...

Harley-Davidson coming to the Beach

Harley-Davidson coming to the Beach

Harley-Davidson, America’s iconic motorcycle brand, is coming to Colonial Beach. All-American ...

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Montross getting ready to Revitalize

The Town of Montross may begin using the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awarded to it from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (VDHCD) for revitalization efforts, as soon as the Grant Agreement is signed.
Despite two major setbacks that caused a cancellation of the April meeting, the progress of Montross Revitalization is still moving forward.

This month, the Montross Revitalization Group decided to cancel its April meeting because the Programmatic Agreement had not been signed by the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, and the group’s Department of Housing and Community Development Representative, Kyle Meyer, was leaving the DHCD for another job opportunity.

Meyer’s last day was scheduled for April 26. He personally notified all the members in the group by telling them that he was leaving his position as Community Development Specialist with the VDHCD to begin a new career.

Meyer said, “I have enjoyed working at DHCD, and I sincerely appreciate having had the opportunity to work with such driven communities. I am certainly better for the experience.”

At the April Town Council Meeting, Town Manager Brenda Reamy confirmed that the Programmatic Agreement had been signed by the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, and was now in the hands of the VDHCD.

The Montross Town Council has already voted to approve Mayor David O’Dell’s signature on the VDHCD Grant Application when it arrives.

The need for a Programmatic Agreement came up when an old countywide survey of architectural resources (performed in 2001 to benefit Colonial Beach and Kinsale) was discovered, leading to a snag that delayed the progress.

Jerry Davis, Northern Neck District Planning Commissioner, explained that the survey talked about a number of properties in the Montross downtown area, but the one specific recommendation that came out of the study was that the downtown district had the potential for becoming a historical district.

Federal law prohibits federal funding to be used for any purpose that may contribute to either the destruction of historical resources, or significantly changing them in a way that would destroy or alter their historical character.

Although none of the buildings are on the historic register, the one building they were really focused on was the old bank building/town hall, which have been torn down, according to Davis.

The solution to the problem is a Programmatic Agreement between the Town of Montross and the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office. The agreement provides steps for individuals utilizing CDBG funds to follow. These steps will ensure that any historical buildings or properties are not altered in a way that would remove their historical significance or features.

Besides age, there are other factors that contribute to a building’s or a property’s historical significance. Architectural features, building materials, or a connection to local history are some of the more common reasons that a building is designated as historical.

It is important to note that since Montross does not currently have a historical designation, and one is not anticipated at this time, an individual business owner is not restricted from architectural changes, provided no federal funds are used for the revitalization.

Linda Farneth

 

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