Rockton Historic Preservation Commission welcomes public to special presentation
By Marianne Mueller
REPORTER
The public was welcomed to a special educational presentation on Wednesday evening, Jan. 16 at the former Inspired Art Studio in downtown Rockton.
Village Planning and Development Administrator, Tricia Diduch gave the background of Rockton’s Historic Preservation Commission. “The commission was developed in 2015 to implement the Village’s historic preservation ordinance. Its purpose is to promote the protection, enhancement, perpetuation, and use of improvements of special character or those of historical interest or value in the interest of the health, prosperity, safety, and welfare of Village residents. ”We have two local landmarks, one is at 203 W. Franklin Street and the other is at 529 Green St. the Rockton Township Historical Society Green Street Museum,” Diduch said.
Historic Preservation Commission member, Mary Anne Mathwich reviewed of ways that the Historic Preservation Commission partners with the Historical Society and Society programs. Last summer the two groups came together during Music in the Park to bring a walking tour to life.
Darius Bryjka, Project Reviewer of the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office and IL. Department of Natural Resources walked residents through valuable information needed if they are planning to restore or to preserve a property.
Bryjka explained the differences between incentives both existing and for historic buildings. Property Assessment freezes and tax credits were reviewed.
“Rockton Historic District was placed on the National Register in 1978,” Bryjka said. “It consists of 208 buildings of which 166 are contributing and 42 are non-contributing.
Bryjka aksed, “During rehabilitation how many must follow the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for rehabilitation?” The answer was surprisingly that none of the standards have to be followed.
“When does an SHPO occur? “These happen only if a project receives Federal or State funds such as income credits, licenses or permits are needed, (highway sewage plants, or bank construction,) must be reviewed to determine whether it would negatively affect any historic resources or whether these meet the Secretary of Interiors standards for rehabilitation. Steps on how to obtain income tax credits were outlined.
Facts and figures for financial incentives on an existing building revolve around 50% disabled access tax credits and 10% in Federal Rehabilitation tax credits. A small business would add handicap accesiblity, per improvements of ramps, an elevator, sidewalks, or walkways. All changes are required to meet ADA standards. Redisigning of the exterior and interior are also included in these plans.
Brykja talked about financial incentives for historic buildings. “A property tax Assessment Freeze would sit at a 20% Federal rehabilitation tax credit, a 25% River Edge Historic tax credit and a 25% IL. Historic preservation tax. All criteria must be met. Taken into account are significance of use, and budget. The freezes assed value would be at a period of eight years.
Significance of a Certified Historic building includes use: owner occupied housing, budget, substantial rehabilitation, and all work must meet standards. A historic building must be individually listed on the National Register or is a contributing building within a National Register historic district, or must be individually landmarked in certain municipalities including Rockton.
“Rockton has these places on the National Register of Historic Places: Two properties at Macktown and Historic Rockton. Of the 166 properties in Rockton the one that is indivually listed is the H.D. Jameson House and the two local landmarks previously mentioned,”Bryjka said.
Use of owner occupied housing was covered. Single family, buying up to six units, and condos fall under this category. Income producing properties include commercial businesses, hotels, and offices, agricultural and industrial. Certain properties can be flipped and some cannot.
A three part application process was outlined.
To give full significance to a building it is recommended it be placed on a National Register and certified by the