Mena Depot awarded grant for Electrical upgrades

Photo of Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst with representatives of the City of Mena Tiffany Lane (Mena Depot Commissioner), Becky Horton (Admin. Asst. to Mayor) and Mayor Seth Smith.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), announced their 2020 Historic Preservation Restoration Grant recipients at an awards presentation on Tuesday, June 25, at the DAH headquarters in Little Rock.

“We are fortunate to have a funding mechanism in Arkansas to protect our state’s historic structures. Unfortunately, we always have more applications than available funding, and this year was no exception,” said Stacy Hurst, DAH director and state historic preservation officer. “The Historic Preservation Restorations Grants have been given out annually since 1996, and have allowed the state to partner with non-profits, municipalities and small groups that otherwise would not be able to make needed repairs to significantly historic properties.” 

According to the AHPP, the purpose of the Historic Preservation and Restoration Grant program is to encourage and promote preservation of Arkansas’s historic resources by providing financial assistance for restoration of historic properties. The program is financed through proceeds of the Real Estate Transfer Tax. 

This year, $796,706 in grant funding was given out to 24 worthy recipients who completed applications for consideration. The amount of funding fluctuates each year depending on the taxes collected. The City of Mena received a grant for $28,526.68 for electrical upgrades and ADA restrooms for the Mena Depot.

“Once the grants are given, our staff continues to follow up with recipients to ensure that the money is being used wisely and the work is completed as closely to the submitted schedule as possible,” said Scott Kaufman, director of the AHPP. “The program manager is Tom Marr and it is administered by Joia Burton with assistance from Brian Driscoll, Catherine Barrier and Paul Porter. They do an outstanding job communicating with these communities and answering questions perspective applicants have throughout the year.” 

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