MANATEE -- Manatee County commissioners Tuesday are slated to consider a new $1,200 fee that owners would pay if they wanted a local historical landmark designation for their property.
However, County Administrator Ed Hunzeker has recommended that the county pay the new application fee for those that can't afford it, said Nick Azzara, the county information outreach manager.
The money would be used for administrative purposes in connection with historic preservation, said Cathy Slusser, director of historical resources for the office of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court, who Monday attended the inaugural meeting of a newly-formed Manatee County Historic Preservation Board.
Elected as chairman of the board Monday was Aimee Angel, and elected as vice-chair was Jeffrey T. Moates.
Other members of the board, appointed in December, include Sandra Jo Forney, Alexander Breitinger and Stuart J. Roth. Manatee County has recently won designation as a Florida Certified Local Government, and is therefore eligible to take part in a national program that creates a preservation partnership between federal, state and local bodies, according to Michael F. Zimny, representing the Florida Certified Local Government and Historical Marker Programs for the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, in Tallahassee.
"All historic preservation is local," Zimny told the preservation board, which met at the County Administrative Building. "The greatest power to preserve is at the local level."
Grants from between $5,000 and $25,000 are now available for projects here, Zimny said, encouraging the board to think about some that might be suitable.
During a PowerPoint presentation, he showed the board a few examples of successful projects.
In 2011, the city of Miami Beach got a $9,200 grant to devise a brochure and website about its "Futuristic, Flamboyant" preserved architectural jewels; and the city of Boynton Beach in 2013 developed a "Heritage Trail" with a $28,552 grant, according to the presentation.
As a new Certified Local Government, Manatee County can also participate in training programs, and qualifies for technical assistance as well, he said.
The new Local Historical Landmark Designation fee, which would go into effect March 1, is part of an updated fee schedule proposed by the county Building and Development Services Department, officials said.
The county commission meets Tuesday at 9 a.m. at 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Neetings are open to the public.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.