posted on April 05, 2013 12:50
There are 21 places in Genesee County alone that are in the National Register of Historic Places. A district in LeRoy is one of three spots in the Village considering going through the process for the honor, but it has just started.
Cynthia Howk, the architectural research coordinator at the Landmark Society of Western New York, says there are financial incentives.
“One of the benefits of listing as a National Register Historic District," Howk said, "can be the tax credits if you’re going to repair your buildings and spending a certain amount of money on repairs. There is a credit for up to 40 percent of the money you’re spending on those repairs.”
Howk also says it’s a purely honorary recognition that won’t interfere with business and property owners' interests, but the benefits can be felt long-term.
“The additional benefits have to do often with promotion of the community/economic redevelopment," Howk said. "Certainly the phrase, ‘heritage tourism’ is very important for all Upstate communities. People that come to see historic buildings, to see museums, to see the villages of any community, heritage tourists typically spend longer amounts of time in a community and they spent more money. Even though it’s not something that immediately boosts a local economy, heritage tourism is very important.”
The Landmark Society must have permission of 51 percent of owners. The area eligible to be named a historic district is from the Oatka Creek Bridge heading west on both sides of the street to Route 19 near the Municipal Building.
There are a total of five public meetings, the next and second of which is Sunday at the Masonic Building at 2. The first meeting Tuesday focused on the Main Street Revitalization Committee.