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Main Street and Historic District received almost $3M in grants

Posted on July 16, 2018


Checks: Beth Brumley, left, executive director of Main Street El Dorado, and Elizabeth Eggleston, executive director of the El Dorado Historic District Commission and former MSE executive director, display checks that were recently awarded by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Main Street received a $15,000 grant and the EHDC was awarded a grant of $8,261 for the 2018 AHPP grant cycle.

Main Street El Dorado and the El Dorado Historic District Commission received a portion of nearly $3 million in grants that were recently awarded by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

During a “Big Check” presentation on June 26 in Little Rock, the AHPP, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, handed out grant awards from several of its programs.

Grants totaling more than $2.96 million were distributed among 58 counties around the state.

Main Street El Dorado and the historic district commission were the recipients of grants from the Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant and Certified Local Government programs, respectively.

MSE was one of 21 Main Street programs to share a $315,000 DTRG pot with a grant award of $15,000.

DTR grants are funded through the state Real Estate Transfer Tax and are available to accredited Main Street programs for building rehabilitations, parks, streetscape improvements and other design-related projects that will have major, long-term effects in local communities.

Beth Brumley, executive director of MSE, said some projects MSE is considering are bistro lighting for certain areas downtown and new banners with a new Main Street logo for some street lamps downtown.

The group is also shopping around for quotes on Wi-Fi service, an ambient sound system and security cameras for downtown El Dorado.

Eleven Arkansas cities received a share of $98,378 in grants from the AHPP’s Certified Local Government program.

CLGs are a network of local, state and federal government-programs that team up in the Federal Preservation Program to help local communities save the historic character of buildings, properties and places.

States receive annual appropriations from the Federal Historic Preservation

Fund and are required to give at least 10% of their funding to CLGs as sub-grants.

The El Dorado Historic District Commission, the city’s CLG, received a grant of $8,261 from the AHPP to pay administrative staff — EHDC Executive Director Elizabeth Eggleston.

The grant will also be used for travel to training events for staff and commissioners in state and for the 2018 National Alliance of Preservation Commissions Forum, which will be held July 18 – 22 in Des Moines, Iowa, Eggleston said.

“These grants help protect our state’s historic resources, encouraging community revitalization, civic pride and quality of life,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage who presented the grant checks during the ceremony in Little Rock last month.

“We are proud to partner with these entities and protect the best of authentic Arkansas,” Hurst said.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ .