Funding for Historic Districts - Grace Santos


The City of Tampa’s Advisory Committee met Wednesday to discuss the Interstate Historic Preservation Trust Fund. WMNF’s Grace Santos was there and files this report.

The City of Tampa adopted an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation in Feb of 2002 with the purpose of decreasing the impact of the interstate highway network on the national registered historic districts – Ybor City, West Tampa, and Tampa Heights.

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Two years into the agreement, the City has earned about $1.5 million so far. All the money is in a designated trust account, a requirement to ensure that the proceeds are not commingled with other city funds.
The Advisory Committee met for the first time to discuss how the money should be utilized. The committee noted that there is no model because this type of project has never been done.

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The agreement limits the types of city projects that the proceeds may be spent on to – infrastructure and historic preservation.
Del Acosta, City Staff Member, recommended to the Committee that the proceeds steer clear of infrastructure and be focused on historic preservation.

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Tampa City Councilmember Linda Saul-Sena agreed.

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Del Acosta also advised the committee that homesteaded properties should get the priority for the funds.

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Committee member, Bonnie Wise, disagreed and said that small business owners also are limited in supplemental funding and therefore should be one of the priorities for the funding. The Committee also discussed other issues such as whether the funds should be used for the interior of the homes and making the homes hurricane protected. Other issues deal with eligibility, yearly caps, loan interest rates and grant amounts.

There will be another public hearing in February. For WMNF news, I’m Grace Santos.

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