Noblesville City Contemplates Amendments to Residential Facade Grant Program

Noblesville City Contemplates Amendments to Residential Facade Grant Program

In an effort to enhance the residential facade grant program for the Plum Prairie Historic District in Noblesville, city leaders are considering amendments that could potentially increase the funding awarded to recipients. The proposed changes would involve updating a city ordinance to modify the funding match ratio within the district from a 50/50 match to a 75/25 match.

The Plum Prairie Historic District is defined as the area approximately bounded by Vine, Walnut, 7th, South, and 5th streets, extending to the block west of 4th between Walnut and Pleasant streets, as noted on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places website.

Under the proposed amendments, the minimum grant amount for projects would be set at $1,000, with a reimbursement of up to $750. Maximum grants for projects totaling $10,000 would be eligible for up to $7,500 in reimbursements. These changes would not only increase grant opportunities but also provide financial support to homeowners residing in the Plum Prairie Historic District.

If approved by the Noblesville Common Council, the funding structure would shift to a 75/25 match, with the city covering 75% of the project costs, up to a maximum of $7,500. Additionally, the proposed amendments would permit a 75% reimbursement of approved project costs, up to a maximum of $5,000 per building (or $10,000 for the total project cost).

Initially scheduled for consideration last month, the discussion on these amendments was postponed. Aaron Head, the city’s community engagement manager, explained to the council that the program’s objective is to stimulate investment, promote architectural appreciation, and initiate aesthetic improvements to historic residential properties within National Register Historic Districts in Noblesville.

Head acknowledged that the grant funds allocated to the Plum Prairie District have not been fully utilized, with potential applicants citing financial infeasibility as a barrier to moving forward with their projects. He identified two key components for updates under the program: the grant award amounts and the requirement of reimbursement after contractors have been paid in full.

The proposed amendments to the ordinance and grant manual align with the city’s goal of assisting residents within the Plum Prairie District in accessing available grant funding more effectively. Head emphasized that the program was initiated through an agreement with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation & Archeology, specifically in relation to the Reimagine Pleasant Street project. This agreement dedicates $50,000 per year for three years towards residential facade improvement grants.

By making these amendments, Noblesville aims to empower homeowners in the Plum Prairie Historic District to make meaningful improvements to their properties while preserving and celebrating the district’s architectural heritage.

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