NASHVILLE (September 17) – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) announced Friday the recipients of Tennessee Historic Development Grants. Among those included the City of Martin, which was allotted $4,500 to rehabilitate the former home of the C.E. Weldon Public Library in Martin.
In neighboring Obion County, the Masquerade Theatre, Inc was awarded $30,000 to rehabilitate the Capitol Theatre in Union City. There were 25 recipients across the state, made on a first-come, first-served basis with a portion of the funding set aside until December 31, 2021, for projects located in Tier 3 and Tier 4 rural communities.
“Weakley County has a heritage we’re all very proud of,” State Rep. Tandy Darby (R-Greenfield) said. “Supporting the preservation of our historic buildings allows us to continue to recognize their significance while providing an economic boost to our community,” he added.
Also offering congratulations are State Rep. Rusty Grills (R-Newbern) and State Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon).
“I’m very proud that this grant will provide an opportunity to bring part of our shared history back to life. I believe it will help stimulate further reinvestment in our historic downtown leading to increased vitality,” Grills noted.
“The people of Weakly and Obion counties are very proud of our heritage and dedicated to preserving our historic buildings,” said Stevens. “These grants will help us achieve that goal. Congratulations to all of those who worked to secure this grant.”
Approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in April 2021, the program provides more than $4 million to projects that aim to renovate and preserve historic buildings across the state. The program encourages communities and private developers to invest in buildings that have contributed to a community’s history but now sit idle. These buildings can once again contribute to the economy through job creation and commercial opportunities.
The grants provide 30 percent of the funding for the building rehabilitation up to $300,000. This $4 million investment of state funds will leverage more than $14 million in private investment.
TNECD partnered with the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) to structure application requirements and review grant applications to ensure that each proposal would rehabilitate the structures while maintaining the historical integrity. The THC’s mission is to protect, preserve, maintain and administer historic places and encourage the inclusive diverse study of Tennessee’s history for the benefit of future generations.
“The staff of the THC partnered with TNECD to help ensure the success of the pilot grant program. Specifically, THC worked with TNECD staff to set standards and guidelines for the restoration of historic properties and will be responsible reviewing the completed projects,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director and state historic preservation officer of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “Some of the applicants to the Tennessee Historic Development Grants also applied for the Federal Historic Tax Credit program that THC administers. The THC is proud to be a partner and hopes this program continues in the future.”