Letter: Rumors about Certified Local Government impacts are false

Dear Editor:

As chair of the board charged with developing the framework for a Certified Local Government (CLG), I am compelled to write this letter to correct misinformation floating around the county concerning this program for landmarking historic properties. There is absolutely nothing in the CLG ordinance that requires anyone to do or prohibits anyone from doing anything without his or her consent.

Every CLG community writes its own formation document.  Thirty-three of Colorado’s 61 CLG towns and counties have imposed restrictions on all historic properties that fit their particular situation. Knowing that our neighbors feel much as we do about having requirements imposed upon us, we followed the lead of the other 28 CLGs, including Steamboat, New Castle and Gunnison County.  Our CLG does not require or prohibit anything without the property owner’s consent.

Being a CLG will allow the county, both towns and their residents access to funding for historic and archaeological research and preservation that is not otherwise available. If the county is a CLG, an owner who opts or consents to landmarking an historic property, whether commercial or a personal home, will be allowed a tax credit for certain expenses incurred in repairing or restoring the exterior of the property. There may also be grants or loans available to help with expenses. Along with those benefits come certain restoration guidelines and maintenance requirements. If the owner of an historic property does not opt or consent to landmark it and chooses to demolish it, he may do so.

We hope to have a public meeting soon about the CLG proposed for Rio Blanco County. We look forward to your participation at the meeting. Meanwhile, please dispel the notion that the CLG as we have proposed it will foist anything on you without your consent.

Sandra Besseghini

Chair, RBCHS Landmarking Committee