The town of Union Bridge may have its application for the National Register of Historic Places reviewed next month by a gubernatorial committee.
Ken Short, an architectural historian for the state, told town officials at last night's town meeting that he has completed the nomination application, which could be reviewed by the Governor's Consulting Committee as soon as Feb. 23.
"The committee will be looking at how the structures have survived over the years, like have they kept their historic integrity," said Mr. Short, a former county historic planner who had worked with the town. "Officials have already come out to look at the town and I foresee no problems in the nomination going through."
The town began the process last spring, when officials expressed interest in being put on the list.
"The part of the town up for nomination is really the main part of town, eliminating any recent development, and it ends just north of town around Elmer A. Wolfe [Elementary]," Mr. Short said.
5l Lehigh Portland Cement Co. and the Phillips property just off Route 75 are not included in the planned historic area.
"When looking at the eligibility requirements, we had to look for a district that had a continuous block of of historic properties," Mr. Short said.
Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. said the decision to form a district was based on preserving the atmosphere of the 120-year-old town and getting money to keepit in good shape.
"It kind of protects the older homes in town," Mr. Jones said.
According to documents from the Maryland Historical Trust, which oversees the application process, National Register benefits include financial assistance for town projects.
Registered districts are also eligible for federal income tax benefits that include a 20 percent investment tax credit for rehabilitation of historic buildings. Mr. Short said being listed on the National Register is not the same as being named a historic district.
People who own properties within Historic Districts must report any changes to the exteriors of their structures to their local historic district commissions, whereas properties in National Register districts are not required to do so.
The registration process takes from six months to a year after the application is scheduled for review by the Governor's Consulting Committee.
If the GCC approves the application, it is sent to the National Park Service in Washington, which makes the final decision.