Wouldn’t you like to go CLG’ing?
Published 8:55 pm Monday, July 21, 2008
It’s free for the asking. All we need to do is to convince the City of Picayune to apply. Fifty-three other cities in Mississippi have already applied and are receiving benefits.
So, you ask, what is CLG? Well, it’s a federal grant program administered by the National Park Service which provides funds to the State Preservation Office for Historic Preservation. Forty million dollars has been granted since 1985 and $446,058 had been awarded to Mississippi cities before 1997.
As government agencies go, these are the latest published statistics, but the yearly budget has been three million a year to be distributed throughout CLG cities in the United States. Individual grants range in size from $500 to $60, 000. They are matching in nature, but the matching part can be satisfied by salaries, administrative costs and volunteer expenses.
All grants have to be in the Historic Preservation arena, which includes such items as oral histories (which we need desperately), archeological surveys, preparation costs to have areas placed on the National Register, historical research and development and much, much more.
Although the grants may be small, as grants go, they can provide the seed money to apply for larger participating grants from government agencies and private foundations, but more importantly it shows that the community is serious about Historical Preservation, a status thing that will weigh heavily in seeking any type of preservation grant.
So why aren’t we already a CLG?
You’ll have to ask your Councilman, and now may be a good time to do that. Councilman for Dist. 1 is Larry Watkins; Dist. 2 is Donald Parker; Dist. 3 is Ana Turnage; Dist. 4 is Lavern Guy; and Dist. 5 is Jerry Bounds. They all can be reached at 601-798-9770. You can also get Mayor Mitchell and City Manager Harvey Miller at this number, or you can attend a City Council open meeting and ask the question or even get on the agenda to discuss the matter.
Whatever you do, do something. Our historical preservation is too important to let this funding source and status commitment pass us by.