It is very gratifying to see so many historic preservation projects converging into our little City. The key word to understand here is "grants". Sure, the scenic byway will increase the amount of tourists along the route. Sure, this designation will allow more national and international recognition for this section of Essex County and will lend a greater opportunity to expose the world to Newburyport. Sure, the program will encourage visitors to strike out and explore our bike paths, landscapes, riverways and towns.
But the key paragraph in today’s article was about communities that could join together with the Essex National Heritage Commission to provide amenities or improvements or signs or visitor centers and exhibits. This means getting grants that would otherwise go somewhere else and instead, end up in our laps. And how does this happen oh cash-strapped Newburyport?
Through the CPA.
We loosen up those state and federal grant monies because most grants require matching funds or a percentage of required matchng funds. And because we have this program, the chance of us being able to do improvements will be much greater than other budget-tight communities. How about colonial street lamps? How about brick sidewalks? The amenities (er, excuses) for grant monies is opened up.
Just another way to see cash moved toward our direction followed by grateful heritage tourists with discretionary cash to spend!
For more details on the Scenic Byways Program, see http://www.essexheritage.org/scenicbyways/.