Southampton Offers Maintenance Help For Landmarks

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Own a locally designated landmark? If you need a hand keeping it in shape, and live in Southampton Town, there may be money to help with the job.

For the second year in a row, the Landmarks and Historic Districts Board is offering maintenance assistance to help homeowners keep their landmarks in tip-top shape. The program was created to encourage owners of historic structures to designate them as landmarks and at the same time give them the wherewithal to maintain them.

About 2,000 historic structures survive in the town, but many are threatened by neglect or work that’s been put off because of financial constraints, according to the Landmarks Board. “Through assisted maintenance, the Landmarks Maintenance Program hopes to help safeguard the continued use, vitality and integrity of Southampton’s heritage,” a release says.

Approximately $20,000 in total may be awarded annually to owners of designated town landmarks who qualify for Southampton Town’s STAR or Enhanced STAR programs. Applications can be found at the town’s website, and the deadline to submit them is November 12. Award recipients will be announced in early January 2015.

Two property owners received maintenance assistance in 2013, splitting the the $20,000, according to Sally Spanburgh of the Landmarks Board. One owner requested the money to remove trees obscuring a facade and to reroof a leaking front porch, while the other requested money to repair shingle siding.

Tax-deductible donations to the fund are welcome to help ensure the program’s long-term sustainability, as well as to expand it.

Designated town landmarks are also eligible for tax abatements, preservation easement acquisitions and in certain cases some may be eligible to have a legal guesthouse without the property owner having to acquire a development right.

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