Thursday, February 25, 2010

GaPA Thursday

The 2010 legislative session is half way through the schedule for the year. Formal sessions will not be held until March 8 while work continues on resolving budget issues. Now is a good time to let your state legislators know about your concerns for preservation.

Budget Cuts

Over the last several years, budget reductions at the Historic Preservation Division resulted in:

  • The loss of six staff positions and the long standing CLG contract
  • Funding was reduced for Regional Planners and restructuring resulted in reducing the number of planners from 14 down to 11
  • The Georgia Heritage Grant program was frozen
  • Travel has been restricted to reduce operating costs

Additional Proposed Cuts

For the remainder of the current fiscal year (SFY 2010) and for the upcoming year (SFY 2011) more cuts are proposed:

  • Regional Planners: The SFY 2011 proposal to cut $47,600 brings the funding for each commission down to $17,309 from its current $21,636

  • Main Street Design Assistance: Funded through the Department of Community Affairs, The Georgia Trust contract has been significantly reduced by $74,000.
    • This contract allows the Georgia Trust to offer affordable design and technical assistance to the 46 Main Street cities, as well as to other communities, throughout Georgia

  • Civil War Commission: By 2011, the commission’s operating budget and special project funding is eliminated

  • Georgia Humanities Council: The state grant program of $139,050 is eliminated
    • Many of these grants support preservation activities throughout Georgia

Details of the Governor’s budget proposals for SFY 2010 and 2011 are available Here and can be tracked throughout the legislative process.

While nearly all state-funded programs face budget reductions, preservationists must diligently voice their concerns for preservation and how it benefits economic and community development in towns and counties throughout Georgia.

Take Action!

  • Communicate with your legislators via the General Assembly website at
  • Visit The Georgia Trust's website for more information about GaPA
  • Contact Kate Ryan at for more information

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Member Spotlight

Richard Laub, leading a study abroad program

The many facets of preservation mean that preservationists follow many different career paths- they may be planners, craftsmen, activists, writers or academics. In his many years in the field, Richard Laub has worn all these hats and more. In his current position as Director of the Master of Preservation program at Georgia State, Richard is using his diverse experiences to educate new generations of preservationists.

Richard has been a member of the Georgia Trust for many years, and currently serves as Chairman of the awards committee. This committee has been meeting regularly to choose the 2010 Preservation Awards which will be presented on April the 9th, 2010 at the Desoto Theatre in Rome, Georgia. Together, Richard and his fellow awards committee members work to help insure that the people and projects the Trust recognizes are held to the highest standard. His efforts have helped to make the Trust's Preservation Awards a highly competitive honor- and with his help, the Trust has made sure that worthy sites throughout the state receive the recognition they deserve.

All of us at the Trust are grateful to Richard for allowing us to benefit from his incredible pool of experience and knowledge, and for his many years of service.

Join the Trust for our Spring Ramble and Annual Meeting in Rome, Georgia April 9 through the 11th!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Save America's Treasures and Preserve America

Since the President’s Budget Proposal for FY2011 was announced last week, the historic preservation community has been abuzz with news that the very popular and successful programs Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America were cut. Many have questioned why, during such difficult times, should we tell our representatives to make funding for historic preservation programs a priority. Why? Because among other things, these programs create jobs.

To this point, the author of The Economics of Historic Preservation, Donovan Rypkema, has offered the following analysis of his research:

Between 1999 and 2009, the Save America's Treasures program allocated around $220 million dollars for the restoration of nearly 900 historic structures, many of them National Historic Landmarks. This investment by the SAT program generated in excess of $330 million from other sources. This work meant 16,012 jobs (a job being one full time equivalent job for one year...the same way they are counting jobs for the Stimulus Program). The cost per job created? $13,780.

This compares with the White House announcement that the Stimulus Package is creating one job for every $248,000. Whose program is helping the economy?

If the creation of one SAT job cost $13,780, eighteen of these jobs could be created for $248,000.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Member Spotlight

Heidi Ream, Chair Elect of the Hay House Board of Trustees, is also Chair of Hay House's major fundraising event, Macon Gardens, Mansions & Moonlight, for the second year in a row. Heidi is an inspiration to other Hay House volunteers in her commitment to publicizing the event, leading monthly committee meetings, helping to line up homeowners to participate in the tour, and working very diligently to make sure all aspects of the event go smoothly.

Macon Gardens, Mansions & Moonlight is Central Georgia's premier home and garden tour. The program features 3 distinct tours: the Secret Garden Tour, Historic Home Tour, and Moonlight Tour. Attendees also have access to free gardening Seminars, the free Garden Market on the grounds of Hay House, and tours of Hay House.

All of us at the Georgia Trust are the beneficiaries of Heidi's dedication and generosity. We thank her for her efforts and congratulate her on her success in her second year as chair of this wonderful event.

This year Macon Gardens, Mansions & Moonlight will take place from April 30th to May 2nd. If you are interested in attending, please contact Hay House for information. Call 478-742-8155.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010



Georgians for Preservation Action (GaPA) is the statewide coordinating

council for historic preservation advocacy. Since its founding in 1987,

GaPA has advocated laws, programs, and policies that promote the

preservation of Georgia’s historic resources by mobilizing grassroots

preservationists across the state. Since 1987, The Georgia Trust has

provided staff to work with GaPA's coordinating committee to organize

efforts and produce an annual Legislative Agenda.

In addition to promoting this year's priority issue, to maintain current

state funding levels for those state and federal programs that deliver

critical preservation services in Georgia, GaPA also voted to support the

Coalition for Full Funding of the Historic Preservation Fund. In so doing,

GaPA joins other Georgia groups (including The City of Cartersville, the

College of Environment and Design- University of Georgia, the Georgia

Alliance of Preservation Commissions, The Georgia Trust for Historic

Preservation, and Piedmont Preservation) in supporting this important

funding source.

To read more about the Historic Preservation Fund and to stay informed

on how the President's Budget Request effects historic preservation,

follow weekly blog posts by Pat Lally, The National Trust for Historic

Preservation's Congressional Affair's Director.

To join the GaPA network and receive important email alerts, email

Kate Ryan at