COLUMBIA — The public is invited to a public hearing on Tuesday to discuss the next five-year historic preservation plan for Missouri.
The hearing is hosted by the city of Columbia, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the State Historic Preservation Office and the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation. It’s scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.
“The goal is to get a set of goals and actions that can be undertaken at all levels,” said Tiffany Patterson, coordinator for the National Register of Historic Places for the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office. “A lot of the issues that people face are the same. We have a loss of rural resources. ... If communities are expanding, they are not paying attention to their historic core. There are issues that people have about their local communities, such as the loss of archaeological sites or the lack of preservation education.”
Every five years the State Historic Preservation Office is required to prepare a statewide plan for the National Park Service. Patterson said the plan is developed so that individuals, local governments and state organizations can take responsibility for preserving historic sites.
One of the main features of the existing preservation plan is state tax credits for preservation projects. Brian Pape, a local architect and consultant who works on projects that depend largely on those credits, hopes legislators won’t eliminate them.
“The first thing that comes to mind in relation to the plan is a way of encouraging, supporting and making sure that these kinds of tax credits for preservation remain a part of Missouri law,” Pape said. “Some legislators every year try to eliminate these tax programs, and if we would lose these economic tax credits then the historic buildings would remain empty and derelict and underutilized.”
Actions taken by the Missouri Department of Economic Development met the State Historic Preservation Office’s goals for the past five years and helped to improve the economic standing of historic commercial properties, Patterson said.
“The governor’s DREAM program is administered through the Department of Economic Development,” Patterson said. “They were not thinking about our program when they came up with that plan, but it really met a lot of our goals for the last five years. The purpose of the DREAM program is to help preserve and revitalize commercial properties. It helps with preservation, because it shows that preservation is important, not just because it saves pretty buildings, but it helps communities stay economically viable.”