Friday, April 2, 2010

GaPA Thursday


This week, we turn our attention to a few bills that may be of interest to preservation-minded GaPA Thursday followers.

In early March, President Obama stopped in Savanna to talk about a proposed program that would marry energy efficiency with job creation efforts. This program, known as HOMESTAR was considered by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee last week, leading to the panel’s approval of a $6 billion bill to include rebates for different products that homeowners can employ to reduce energy consumption. A version of the bill is expected to be introduced by the Senate in the near future.

Thanks to preservation lobbying efforts, both versions include rebates for storm window retrofitting to dissuade homeowners from tearing out significant original elements of their home.

In his National Trust for Historic Preservation blog, Pat Lally reports the following about the bill:

Here’s what it will provide specifically: 1) a storm window rebate for historic properties, capped at $1,000. The provision allows for $50 per storm window for a minimum of five windows and a maximum of 12 which comply with any procedures that the Secretary may set for storm windows and their installation. The rebate also covers labor and materials. When the Senate introduced its bill, we expect this provision to be identical.

By pushing for storm window incentives amid a host of replacement products, we’re trying to reward the owners of historic homes who chose to retrofit an existing historic window rather the replace it if replacement is unnecessary. This, we hope, will provide some level of “incentive equity” among the array of options facing homeowners of historic houses who truly want to save energy and reduce costs, but retain perfectly good elements of historic fabric. As the nation moves into a new way of looking at the way buildings perform and achieved greater efficiencies, historic properties need to be part of the solution with a seat at the table.

For more info, check out these two blog posts by The National Trust:

Lally Blog

Frey Blog


HB1049 supports economic development through Arts and Culture in Georgia. This bill could affect every county in Georgia by providing an economic development tool kit that will stabilize funding to arts and cultural organizations.

Here are some talking points about the bill that was favorably approved by the House Committee on March 22nd:

  • Arts and Culture contributes to the development and economic growth of communities across Georgia. A recent economic impact study of Arts and Culture in Georgia showed that the industry contributes $387 million per year to the state's economy. Groups surveyed had a total annual income of $722 million and $692 million per year in expenses, attracting an audience of 16 million people per year. Cultural groups contribute to the state's economy.
  • The Creative Industry in Georgia lost 5,756 jobs from 2008 to 2009. Based on current estimates in Georgia, another 8,800 jobs will be lost in 2010 without new funding. We cannot afford to lose more jobs in Georgia.
  • The arts & culture not only contribute to our local economy, but have a significant impact on the quality of education and the overall success of students.
  • For a solution that is completely determined by local voters, HB 1049 is a welcomed option for job creation, economic development, tourism, and stabilizing and important but fragile creative industry.

You can follow this and other bills through the Georgia General Assembly website.

And, as we mentioned before, the American Association of Museums is seeking support for funding the Institute of Museum and Library Services Office of Museum Services (funded through the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee). Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) is currently circulating a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” appropriations letter requesting $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Ask your senators to sign on to the Gillibrand letter and support museums! Read more about the “Dear Colleague” letter and send your Senators a quick email through the American Association of Museums website.

TAKE ACTION!

Don’t forget about next week’s lecture at Georgia Tech on Historic Preservation and Sustainable Development presented by Donovan Rypkema. Mr. Rypkema’s expertise in the economics of preservation is sure to make for an interesting lecture that supports the message Preservation Equals Jobs!


For more information about GaPA contact Kate Ryan, Programs Manager at The Georgia Trust, at kryan@georgiatrust.org

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