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MALTA: Town grant to go for training

The training provided by the grant funding and town match will serve to "augment commission members' knowledge and expertise concerning historic preservation" said Ulrich.

One benefit to the training is that all course materials will be provided by the agency doing the training and remain available as part of the commission's library for future reference.

Rutkey added members of the Historic Preservation Review Commission must have knowledge of architectural styles and building methods, as well as be able to have detailed knowledge of the history of specific properties in the community.

"The historic preservation law, active nearly two decades in Malta, is intended to protect and enhance the town's heritage," said Rutkey. "For the law to be a benefit and not a hindrance, the HPRC must be other than a reactionary review board. We must be versed in architecture, construction methods, grants, zoning law, and subdivision regulations."

Ulrich said that no decisions have been made as to how to spend the money and who will be conducting the trainings.

She said that while the New York State Preservation League is an obvious option, it is one of many available to the town.

Rutkey said he would like to see the training include multiple presenters with various local expertise. He said professionals from Saratoga County might be able to offer a "unique seminar or on-location study."

Two specific areas of focus are intended to be included in the training process. Ulrich and Rutkey said the first part is to understand the local historic preservation law, particularly as it relates to Malta's classification as a Certified Local Government community. This would include learning about the process to designate local landmarks and historic districts and making legally sound decisions. Additionally, training will cover design review principles, including how to do a historic survey according to state standards.

Rutkey added, "There are many opportunities for the HPRC to make a great contribution to Malta and beyond by example. We don't intend this to be both the beginning and end of training." ""

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