The state today announced more than $182,000 in 15 matching grants to projects for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings across Vermont, including two in the town of Windsor, the birthplace of Vermont.Standing in front of the historic Stephen Jacob House, whose owner, Historic Windsor Inc., received a $7,690 grant to install a new roof to protect the building, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Jim Saudade congratulated the grant recipients.“These are difficult times, but we are continuing this administration’s commitment to historic preservation,” Saudade said. “Preserving our past is an important part of keeping Vermont a special place not only for our residents, but for the visitors who come and help support our tourism economy.”In addition, the American Precision Museum in Windsor received $8,000 that will be used to help stabilize and repair masonry at the historic brick Robbins & Lawrence Armory building, an important part of the early machine tool industry in Vermont and the nation.The grant program, administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, provides owners of historic buildings with matching funding of up to $15,000 for a variety of capital repairs.Saudade said the grant program is “an investment that helps leverage additional funding sources.”“By partnering with state government, the owners of these buildings can invest in saving them, both for the current enjoyment of residents and visitors, and for future generations of Vermonters,” he said.Judy Hayward, executive director of Historic Windsor Inc., agreed. She noted that her organization had only purchased the Stephen Jacob House, which is historically significant for a court case that upheld Vermont’s constitutional ban on slavery, with the help of a donation last year.“This is an important grant because it is our initial funding and now we can begin the process of fundraising for the restoration,” Hayward said. “It is a lot easier to make that ask when someone has agreed to go first.”Buildings must be on the National Register of Historic Places or eligible for listing, and grant requests are reviewed by the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a group of volunteers appointed by the Governor whose members include experts in archeology, history, and architecture.In making decisions on funding, the Council prioritizes projects based on several criteria, including those most in critical need of repair.“We’re just exceeding grateful to the Division for this grant,” said Cher Laston, a representative of the Washington Unitarian Universalist Church, which received $8,150 to help pay for the installation of a new standing-seam metal roof on the historic church.“We are a tiny congregation, there are 15 active members,” she said. “This is the piece that will ensure our building still stands, so we can continue to do the good work that’s been part of its 158 years of history.”For more information, visit the Division for Historic Preservation site at: www.historicvermont.org(link is external)
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) are launching a new working group to start discussions on standards for maintenance and management of offshore wind projects.According to the ministries, the Working Group on Facility Maintenance and Management Technologies is part of the efforts for discussions on standards and other criteria for offshore wind under the Committee on Study of Developing Offshore Wind Power Generation Facilities in Ports and Harbors.The current discussions have an aim to streamline examination procedures under the Electricity Business Act and the Port and Harbor Act, as well as to reduce burdens from related businesses to further facilitate the introduction of wind power generation, the parties said.The relevant acts require applicants to submit documents which describe the method of maintaining and managing the offshore wind power generation facilities when they make applications to introduce such facilities in ports and harbors.METI and MLIT plan to stipulate the standards by the end of the financial year 2018 based on the discussion results of the working group.Japan’s Government approved a new bill in November which promotes the commercial use of offshore wind in the country’s waters.The first offshore wind tenders are expected in the spring or summer of 2019 and will include around five development areas. Successful candidates will be granted a 30-year lease to develop and operate the projects.