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Sullivan County Projects Get Funding

On Monday, 25 recipients of the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) gathered at the New Hampshire State House to receive recognition for their projects.

The grants fund historical preservation of buildings and land conservation. There were 48 applicants this year for funding, but only 25 — totaling $3.7 million — were approved after a rigorous application process.

According to the LCHIP website, “Since 2000, LCHIP has awarded 589 grants, investing $61 million in 200 New Hampshire communities to help conserve more than 241,000 acres of land and rehabilitate 172 historic structures.”

In a press release by LCHIP, Gov. Sununu stated that “what’s great about LCHIP is that these are community-driven projects, with local people tackling supply chain issues and other challenges to get the job done.”

At the award ceremony, two Sullivan County projects were awarded funds: The Plainfield Town Hall in Plainfield and the Washington Congregational Church in Washington.

The Plainfield Town Hall gas been awarded $21,400 to “facilitate the repair and repointing of the building’s foundation, bring its chimneys up to code and regrade the surrounding area to ensure proper drainage and improve moisture control.”

Plainfield Town Hall Committee Chair Bev Widger was at the State House to represent the committee.

Washington Congregational Church received a $35,000 LCHIP grant to restore the building’s windows and to repair and paint the exterior. Art Sharkey, a trustee of the Church, spoke with the Eagle Times in a phone interview about the project.

The church is a part of a small-town facility complex that includes the town hall and school. The town hall had previously received LCHIP grants, so applying for another one made sense as some of the large windows are cracked and the exterior needs some work due to years in the elements.

Sharkey explained that while most of the interior and some exterior repairs have been accomplished by the congregations members, the grant allows for specialists to help handle many of the larger projects.

“We were very fortunate that one of the auditors for the church, her name is Jean Kluk. She was very involved with the LCHIP application for the town hall.”

Sharkey described the application process as “rigorous,” noting the high demands of the LCHIP grants, including during an initial call with the organization and a site visit.

“We kind of were 50/50 we were going to get approved, even after the visit, the site visit, you know, [but] they did it. They were good card players. They didn’t give out any inklings or hints that you’re looking good or not, you know they were very professional, on topic, [and] asked great questions and so it’s been a good process.”

Source: Eagle Times