Commission seeks grant to save historic buildings

November 06, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The Carroll County commissioners agreed yesterday that historic preservation is important, but Commissioner President Donald I. Dell questioned whether county money should be spent on it during tough economic times.

"Why do we want to keep these old buildings around?" he asked during a brief meeting with county Budget Director Steven D. Powell.

The buildings sometimes "stand in the way of progress," Mr. Dell said.

Farmers generally tear down farm buildings when they're no longer using them, he added.

Providing vaccines for children is a bigger priority in this tight budget year, he said, adding that the county government's primary purpose is to provide for residents' health, safety and welfare.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge agreed that vaccines should not be eliminated.

But she said it's important for the county to preserve its history, even in tough times.

The buildings may not be there when the economy improves, she said.

In the end, Mr. Dell agreed to pursue a $47,756 federal grant to be used to continue inventorying the county's historic buildings.

The county would contribute $11,942 in cash and $11,938 in in-kind services in fiscal year 1994.

The federal government would contribute $23,876, Assistant Planning Director K. Marlene Conaway said.

Commissioners Dell and Elmer C. Lippy voted to pursue the grant with the understanding that they could reconsider the county's contribution next year.

The county's 1994 fiscal year begins in July 1993.

Mr. Dell suggested that Carroll's towns and citizens could contribute to historic preservation efforts.

Ken Short and others in the planning office have been inventorying Carroll's historic buildings, Ms. Conaway said.

They also are working on an application to designate Union Bridge as a historic town.

The county has about 1,300 historic sites inventoried, but about 500 of those need to be further researched and logged on a computer, Ms. Conaway said.

A photo and other information from each site are being entered into the computer.

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