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The Certified Local Government (CLG) program is a preservation partnership between local, state, and national governments focused on promoting strong local historic preservation programs. The CLG program is jointly administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
Through this program, communities partner with SHPO to plan for, protect, and tell the story of important historic places. In exchange, partner communities gain access to exclusive grant funding and technical assistance from SHPO and NPS to help carry out local historic presrevation activities.
Any community in Michigan can become a CLG--a county, township, city, or village. A local unit of government that wishes to become a CLG follows a certification process through which it works with SHPO to outline a plan for achieving its preservation goals. Once certified as a CLG, the community gains access to program benefits.
Want to Know More About the CLG Program?
Review SHPO's CLG Program Handbook for a full discussion of the program, benefits, and requirements for participating communities.
1. STRONG LOCAL PRESERVATION PROGRAMS
Rooted in best practice approaches, the CLG program gives credibility to local preservation activities, their relationship to broader planning processes, and their role in promoting community character, sense of place, cultural diversity, and economic vitality. The program also promotes activities consistent with national and state legislation and standards, which encourage responsible decision-making for the treatment of important historic resources in the community.
2. PRIORITY SUPPORT FROM SHPO
CLGs receive special assistance from SHPO’s CLG Coordinator, who works closely with CLGs as they plan for, build, and engage local preservation programs. SHPO’s CLG Coordinator:
3. ANNUAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION FUND GRANTS
One of the greatest benefits of becoming a CLG is that participating communities in good standing are eligible to apply for annual grant funding set aside exclusively for CLGs. Non-CLG communities do not have access to annual funding from SHPO.
Every year, SHPO provides a portion of its annual funding from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) directly to CLGs through grants for local preservation projects. Non-profits (e.g., historical societies, heritage sites, etc.) and other public entities in a CLG community can also apply for the grants in partnership with the local government. Grants are provided for two categories of projects:
Preservation Planning and Education Projects: including but not limited to historic resource surveys, archaeological studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, preservation plans, design guideliens, educational workshops, heritage tourism materials, and training;
Rehabiltation Planning and Rehabilitation Projects: including but not limited to the development of plans and specifications, condition assessments, feasibility studies, and other planning studies, as well as actual rehabilitatoin (i.e., physical site-specific work) of certain types of historic properties.
Detailed information on SHPO's CLG grant program is available here.
NOTE: In addition to annual CLG grants, there are sometimes additional federal monies available to CLGs through SHPO or directly from the National Park Service. Information on NPS grants available to CLGs can be found here.
4. COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS
Available only to CLGs, Community Partnership Projects are intended to fill a gap that commonly exists in local preservation--the gap between a community's desire to complete preservation projects and its lack of resources and/or capacity to carry out such projects on its own. Through the program, SHPO works alongside your community, actively completing projects that might not otherwise be possible and doing so at no cost.
Based on SHPO capacity each year, CLGs can apply to have one of three types of projects—a survey of historic resources, a National Register of Historic Places nomination, or a set of design guidelines—completed directly by SHPO staff on behalf of the local community. As part of the partnership, CLGs agree to meet basic participation requirements (e.g., host a workshop or participate in a brief field exercise), which are designed to build the capacity of CLGs and educate them on preservation best practices.
5. TRAINING AND EDUCATION
CLGs have access to a broad catalog of training and technical materials and can participate in workshops, regional roundtables, webinars, and other activities designed for CLG staff, elected officials, and HDC members.
CLGs can also request one-on-one discussions with SHPO’s CLG Coordinator to discuss local preservation strategies, to request feedback on particular issues the community may be facing, or to provide the HDC and its staff with training on issues related to administration of local historic districts. From time to time, SHPO may also partner with organizations such as the National Alliance of Preservation Commisisons to bring training to CLG communities.
WHAT'S REQUIRED TO BECOME A CLG?
To participate in the CLG program, a local unit of government must agree to meet the standards set forth by the National Park Service and the guidelines in SHPO's CLG Program Handbook. At a basic level, CLGs agree to:
Wondering if the CLG program is right for your community? Consider these questions:
If so, the CLG program may be a good fit for your community. Start by reviewing SHPO's Informational Brochure and/or the CLG Program Handbook. Also reach out to SHPO's CLG Coordinator, who can meet with local stakeholders to discuss the program and ways it can help your community.