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City of Lockport seeks historic preservation grant for High Street and Locust Street area

BY: Rikki Cason | January 06, 2013

The City of Lockport Common Council approved a resolution Wednesday to authorize an application be submitted to the state’s parks, recreation and historic preservation office.

In 2011, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission hired Clinton Brown Company Architecture to complete a historic survey to find areas in the city that could potentially be placed on the National Registry for Historic Places.

Five districts in the city were suggested, including Canal Street, St. Mary’s Complex and Pine Street. The area of High Street and Locust Street was identified as having historical significance and in December 2011 a meeting was held with around 40 homeowners in attendance, to discuss it becoming a historic district.

Chairmen of the Historic Preservation Commission of Lockport Bob Hagen said if they become a historic district, those homes designated as contributing to the historic value of the streets could receive a 20 percent tax credit from the state on any project a homeowner does to their house for more than $5,000. Those homes designated as non-contributing would still see an increase in their property value because of the designation.

To continue on the path to a historic designation, a study must be done, further detailing the homes in the area.

Hagen said the city ended up loosing the opportunity to continue on with the study in 2012, but would like to continue this in 2013.

The local government grant would give the city $20,000 for the study and the city must have $5,000 in matching funds.

Mayor Michael Tucker said this designation would give homeowner an incentive to fix up their homes and help preserve Lockport’s historic value.

In other city news:

• Officers in the Lockport City Police Department were designated as city marshals.

According to Tucker, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department use to issue and deliver warrants of evictions. They are no longer doing that, so the chief of police and his officers were appointed to do this task.

Tucker said this would be additional revenue coming in to the city. A landlord would pay the courts to issue a warrant of eviction and city police would deliver it.

• Alderwoman Anne McCaffrey was selected to the one-year appointment of Common Council President.

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