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Funkstown to consider grants to help tourism

February 16, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

FUNKSTOWN - The Funkstown Town Council will discuss during its Feb. 22 meeting ways to become eligible for state funding that could increase tourism, Councilwoman Sharon Chirgott said.

Chirgott said the council wants to explore applying for money from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, a state program that funds historic preservation and creates economic growth through tourism.

Washington County planner Steve Goodrich said town officials must create a plan that comprises several criteria, including the goals and objectives of the preservation.

Town officials might consider opening a small Civil War museum in Town Hall, Goodrich said.

"It has to promote tourism," he said.

Goodrich said Funkstown has until March 2008 to apply for the funding.

The grants come in several forms, including capital and noncapital, he said.

According to the MHAA's Web site, capital grants are limited to $50,000 and "available to non-profit organizations, local jurisdictions, business entities and individual citizens committed to preserving their historic resources."

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Nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions are eligible to apply for noncapital grants, according to the Web site. They typically range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Goodrich said the grants are a 50/50 match, meaning the recipient has to come up with an equal amount.

"We've been working with the towns to let them know the money is available," he said. "If they don't want to do it, we're not trying to make them."

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