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MALTA: Town grant to go for training

The town of Malta's classification as a Certified Local Government, or CLG, in 2006 is already beginning to pay off in the form of $4,000 in grant money awarded by the state parks, recreation and historic preservation office, which will be used for preservation training workshops.

Malta was one of only 12 municipalities in the state to receive the funds. Although the town will provide a match, not to exceed $3,000, those involved in the grant application process said they feel it will be money well spent.

With this money, the town of Malta can arrange for on-site, professional training workshops to be provided for the entire Historic Preservation Review Commission membership, said Teri Ulrich, the town historian and non-voting advisory member to the eight-member review commission. "The training will be tailored specifically to our needs here in Malta and will focus on historic preservation and CLG programming."

Established by the National Historic Preservation Act, the Certified Local Government program supports local preservation activities by creating a formal link between a community's commitment to historic preservation and state and federal preservation programs.

Malta's Historic Preservation Review Commission was created in 1989, and its role has changed over time. Ulrich said members of the group have not been afforded the opportunity to have in-depth, professional training. While the grant money will allow a wide variety of town staff, elected officials, and volunteers to participate in the training, it is the hope of Stephen Rutkey, chairman of the review commission, that most of the funds be dedicated to the specific training for members.

"The HPRC plays, I believe, a vital role in town government," he said. "Our commission is responsible not only for reviewing projects undertaken by landmark property owners but also with providing input to the town board, the planning board, and the zoning board on projects that involve or affect our local landmarks and historic districts."

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