City of Tybee Island Awarded Federal Historic Preservation Grant

The City of Tybee Island is one of ten Georgia communities which will receive federal sub-grants totaling more than $90,000 from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Historic Preservation Fund to conduct historic preservation projects.  The funding awarded to the City of Tybee Island is to conclude the city-wide historic resources survey update which began last year with the FY2015 Historic Preservation Fund Grant.  This first phase of the survey has identified approximately 845 historic resources, which is nearly 40% of the structures on the island.  Completion of this comprehensive survey will further the efforts for planning with preservation in mind and strengthen the support for future historic districts and individual listings for the National Register.  Mayor Jason Buelterman states, “We are honored to receive funding to update the City’s Historic Resources Survey with this grant cycle.  This project furthers our commitment to historic preservation on Tybee.  With this survey, we are following through with a top priority stakeholders identified within the city’s Master Plan and adding to our planning strategies for the resident’s quality of life, as well as the visitor’s experience.”

For the FFY 2016 grant cycle, the preservation projects include historic resources surveys in five other Georgia communities, development grants for a National Historic Landmark house museum, a historic theater, and a historic cemetery, and one predevelopment grant to a battlefield site.  Grant projects are to be completed by September 2017.

The grants are provided annually through the Historic Preservation Fund of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service and are administered by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Each year, Georgia’s 94 Certified Local Governments (CLGs) are eligible to apply for these matching 60% federal/40% local grants. To be eligible to become a federal Certified Local Government, a city or county must have passed a preservation ordinance and have established a historic preservation commission.

“The Certified Local Government program is one of our most important community stabilization and revitalization tools,” said David Crass, HPD Division Director.  “By becoming a CLG,  neighborhoods take control of their own economic destiny, and gain access to HPD technical expertise and assistance, which helps them protect the resources that make them unique.”

Crass added “In 2013, we announced the addition of development (bricks-and-mortar rehabilitation) as an eligible activity for this grant program, and had, through last year, funded five applicable projects.  In this 2016 grant cycle, we are pleased to be able to fund three more development projects, and we look forward to working with those communities in the coming year.”

The City of Tybee Island takes pride in preserving the community, commerce, and culture of Georgia’s northernmost barrier island year-round for its citizens, merchants, and visitors.  The city became a CLG in 2014 due to the support and dedication of elected officials and involved stakeholders to protect and preserve the character of the island.  Since 1982, three National Register Historic Districts, a multiple property district, and fourteen individual listings have been listed.  Additional nominations are currently being considered.  These listings and other preservation efforts such as financial incentives and assistance offered through the Development Authority/Main Street Program and the Historical Society, the pursuit of local historic districts, and collaboration among community stakeholders enforce the community’s commitment to preservation, quality growth and enhancements, and education.