Montrose, CO — Following years of dedicated work, the City of Montrose has earned the designation as a Certified Local Government or CLG, seen as a significant achievement with ongoing historic preservation efforts within the city. The City was also awarded a $25,000 grant from History Colorado’s State Historical Fund to help create a historical survey plan for the Montrose community.
The City of Montrose is now Colorado's 62nd CLG and the 2,001st CLG in the United States.
In a letter to History Colorado, Megan Brown, Chief State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division Acting Certified Local Government Coordinator with the U.S. Department of Interior agreed in the recommendation that "the City of Montrose be certified under the provision of Section 101(c) of the National Historic Preservation Act."
"We welcome the City of Montrose as a local partner in the Federal Preservation Program and look forward to working with them to preserve what makes their community special and significant," Brown said.
This designation gives the city’s newly formed Historic Preservation Commission the ability to designate buildings as part of the City's own historic registry. This designation will also give owners of historic buildings the choice to pursue historic designation for their properties. Property owners will have the option to partner with the city to pursue efforts towards preserving historic downtown buildings and economic revitalization.
If the building is designated on the local registry, the owners are then eligible for tax credits and other incentives from both state and federal programs for the preservation and restoration of their buildings.
“The City of Montrose is thrilled to join the ranks of Certified Local Governments,” said Virgil Turner, the City's Director of Innovation & Citizen Engagement. “The partnership with our State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service has greatly strengthened our local efforts to preserve the important resources which make Montrose such a special place.”
Last year City Councilors revised the city's municipal code to include a Historic Preservation, HP, ordinance, intended to preserve the historical character of Montrose while also providing an avenue for property owners to have access to robust improvement incentives.
The Historic Preservation ordinance was written to allow building owners the option to apply for the designation. The designation is not mandatory for building owners but serves as a tool for them to pursue preservation efforts. Once a building has been designated, the ordinance ensures that designation in perpetuity. The program is designed for buildings that are 50 years and older.
Once an application is received, it will be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission to determine if the proposal fits within the HP ordinance.
Members of the Historic Preservation Commission serve at the pleasure of the City Council and are tasked to conduct surveys and create inventories of historic sites, properties, and areas for the purpose of defining those of historic, local significance. The commission will also determine qualifications of buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts nominated for designation.
Chelsea Rosty, the Director of Business Innovation for the City of Montrose along with Turner, delivered several presentations to the council in 2018 showcasing multiple projects from across the country, including Colorado, highlighting historic buildings being restored and used for modern uses.
"Historic preservation pairs the meaningful story of our past with the economic engine of the future,” Rosty said. “This process brings passion and heart to our economic development toolbox.”
The separate $25,000 in grant funds awarded by History Colorado will allow the city to prepare a citywide historic survey plan, which identifies and prioritizes future historic resource surveys within the city.
A qualified historic preservationist will be hired to prepare the survey and will work in cooperation with the HP commission. The survey plan will be developed through a public process.
The historic context sections of the city’s 1981 and 1999 historical surveys will be updated to reflect development up to 1979. The historic survey plan will assist the newly established CLG and Historic Preservation Commission by providing a clear and concise document to survey Montrose’s historic resources.
In its announcement, History Colorado described Montrose "was founded originally to provide supplies to nearby mining communities. With the mines' decline, agriculture soon took over as the major economy. Settlers worked the fertile valley soil producing fruits, grains, vegetables, and livestock. The same strategic location that led to Montrose becoming a hub for transportation and commerce at its founding still serves as an asset today, as evidenced by serving as the second busiest airport in Colorado. Although much has changed since the city’s beginning in 1882, Montrose, with a current population of just over 19,000, continues as a thriving gateway to the many wonders of Western Colorado."
For more city news visit: CityOfMontrose.org.