One of the greatest challenges of any revival or reuse projects is accumulating the costs it requires. A community can want to plan changes that will be beneficial for the town/city, one of the setbacks that they encounter is where they would collect the money to make these visions possible. An advantage of reuse projects is there isn’t as much cost as a new brand new project. Most of the things are already in place, the site just requires someone with an imagination to evolve it to a place that is desired by people of all tastes. There are private companies who invest in sites like these, to encourage business which only profits them, also the community. However, in order to get the private companies interested to invest in such projects, the federal government has to step in and invest a portion of the costs that are required to make projects like this possible. Luckily, Old Ellicott City is a historic site, that can receive many governmental funds to encourage private companies to invest here as well.
This being a historic site helps tremendously with the search for funds. One of the first things is to seek private companies that take on projects of this sort. It will be beneficial if a private company does this on their own because then, this certain company will take full responsibility of future maintenance. However, if the quest for a private company turn out unsuccessful, there are a couple governmental funds that this community can apply for, mainly, the Historic Tax Credit (HTC).
Introduced fairly recent, this fund has only been available for the past 17 years but already helped many historic rehabilitation and reuse projects over its short run. This is the first fund that the community as a whole would reach towards for a project like this. Since this would be rehabilitating a historic commercial area. There are three different tax credits that provides funds: 1. homeowner, 2. competitive commercial, and 3. small commercial tax credit. In this case, the appropriate one is the small commercial tax credit, but it can also qualify for the homeowner tax credit. There are houses on top of these commercial small shops, who will also benefit from this parking lot being revolutionized to a park for social activities. There is also the Hazard Mitigation Planning Program from the Maryland Historic Trust that can be utilized for this, considering the recent floods that Main St suffered. This fund was introduced after the effects of Hurricane Sandy to preserve historic sites, buildings and cultural landscapes. Grants like this can minimize the costs on private companies, thus making them more inclined to support and invest towards creating more sustainable placemaking that utilizes the history of a beautiful town like Ellicott City.
The application for these funds are fairly simple but the process to get approved is quite lengthy. The application forms are found on the Maryland Historic Trust (MHT) website which anyone can download and fill out based on the request. The process on the citizens part is just that, fill out the form and send it to MHT. Then it’s up to the committee there to determine whether this will be beneficial for this particular community and whether they have the funds to aid this project. Most of the time, the associations that private companies have with government agencies like this connects the two parties, in this case it’ll be the community and the private company, so they can contribute to rehabilitation projects and benefit each other while striving a mutual goal.