State: $161,000 needed to preserve barns

EAST RYEGATE, Vt. - Governor Jim Douglas on Thursday announced $161,000 in Historic Preservation Barn Grants for 19 farms to help preserve their barns for future generations.

In a ceremony at the Elm Brook Farm in East Ryegate, which received $10,000 to repair its cow and horse barns, the governor noted that the program aided two of Vermont's most important industries, agriculture and tourism.

"Our farms not only provide jobs and a bond to our agricultural past, they help sustain our tourism industry by preserving our working landscape," Douglas said. "I am very pleased that the state can assist in preserving these magnificent structures for future generations."

The grant program, administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, provides owners of agricultural buildings with matching funding of up to $10,000 for a variety of capital repairs. Eligible projects include repairs to roofs, foundations, walls, sills and overall stabilization.

In making decisions on funding, the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation prioritizes projects, giving particular emphasis on working barns to keep them in service and significant agricultural buildings in critical need of repair.

"Every year we lose barns to a variety of conditions, but these modest grants help stem that tide," Douglas said. "The owners of these barns are to be praised for taking action to preserve them."

Advisory Council for Historic Preservation 2009 Barn Grants:

Cummings Farm Barn, East Montpelier: $10,000 to jack and straighten barn, straighten and/or rebuild stone foundation, and re-grade and create drainage.

Damkot Barn, Jericho: $10,000 to replace roof.

Davitt Farm Barn, Maidstone: $1,900 to repair high drive.

Elm Brook Farm Barns, Ryegate: $10,000 to replace sill and install new section of foundation for the cow barn and to replace foundation and siding for the horse barn.

Fish Farm Barn, Tinmouth: $10,000 to repair/rebuild center section of barn.

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