Wed07292015

Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

Montross man maintaining Purple Martin Retreat

Montross man maintaining Purple Martin Retreat

On Father’s Day, George Henry Oliff of Montross spent time with his family. He had dinner with...

Greater Montross revitalization group seeking input from area residents

The Greater Montross Partnership for Revitalization wants ideas for spiffing up and encouraging grea...

First Friday evening events return for 2015

First Friday evening events return for 2015

First Fridays and First Saturdays are back in Montross. The joyful weekend activities will continue ...

Dam breach threatens historic Chandler’s Millpond in Montross

Dam breach threatens historic Chandler’s Millpond in Montross

Picturesque Chandler’s Millpond, a 300-year-old lake on Route 3 west of Montross, has been clo...

No new county taxes for Beach residents in Westmoreland budget

Supervisor Larry Roberson recently presented highlights of the Westmoreland County budget for the re...

Young boy saves grandmother

Young boy saves grandmother

At first glance Marquis Smith is a typical nine-year-old boy in fourth grade, even to his grandmothe...

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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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