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Town eligible for grant money

The town of Malta is finding itself in a unique and enviable position. Late last month the town was recognized, not for the cutting edge technology that's about to come to town or the new traffic patterns resulting from a cluster of roundabouts, but instead for its history, and more importantly, the town's stated commitment to preserving it.

This is a tremendous honor for our town, said Teri Ulrich, town historian, upon learning that the town had officially become recognized as a certified local government (CLG).

The CLG program is a nationwide program designed to connect the preservation goals of local communities with the preservation programs that exist on the state and federal levels. Benefits to the CLG designation include access to grant money earmarked specifically for CLG projects, technical preservation assistance, legal advice, and training opportunities.

The CLG program in New York is administered by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). Currently, more than 52 municipalities in New York and just more than 1,000 nationwide have completed the necessary requirements to be designation as a CLG.

"CLG status is an important tool for growth in Malta, especially now, when we have the competing priorities of rising to the challenges of becoming a blossoming tech park center, while at the same time preserving our rural and historic character," said Ulrich. "This is no easy thing to manage; however, the CLG program will help us toward that end."

The application process began in August 2005. Although the town already had a historical preservation ordinance as well as a historical preservation review commission, those things needed to be further developed through the year-long application process.

"During the process, the town reviewed and modified its historical preservation ordinance and inserted it into the town zoning law," said Audrey Ball, director of parks and recreation. "Now developers know when considering development that historical resources are on the property, they are eyeing for development and are aware of the process that may be required if there is a landmark on their property, as well as a potential property."

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