Our Town holds community meeting on creating historical district

| May 30, 2018

COSHOCTON – “When we drove into Coshocton, we were blown away by the amazing collection of beautiful buildings we found.”  Wendy Naylor and Diana Wellman, of Naylor Wellman, a historic preservation consulting firm, both shared this statement at an Our Town Coshocton public meeting on Tuesday, May 29.

The meeting was held to share information about how becoming listed on the National Register of Historic Places could benefit Coshocton and anyone who owns a historic building in the proposed district. The district is centered on Main Street, from Seventh to Third streets, with parts of Chestnut and Walnut streets included. A proposal has already been submitted to the state and Our Town Coshocton was told there is a viable historical area here.

They hired Naylor and Wellman to help pull together more information about the area and to visit Coshocton and see the buildings here. They help identify the unique and historical aspects of a community. They also help explain what benefits the area could see if Coshocton would become a national historic district.

Many concerns were that there would be strict restrictions on building owners about what they could and couldn’t do with their properties, but this is simply not true. The only restrictions would be ones that local rules already impose. Owners could receive a tax credit of up to 45 percent of what they spend on rehab costs on their buildings. The federal government offers a 20 percent tax credit and the state of Ohio another 25 percent. The building must be a business and only about one in three qualify for the state credit.

However, being listed as part of a historic district could increase the chances of receiving it. Also, building owners could qualify for low interest loans, façade grants, design assistance and historic conservation easements. There are 120 buildings in the proposed historic district.

If all goes well, Coshocton could be declared a National Historic District around December. Naylor and Wellman focused on Main Street as the anchor of the district. Our Town Coshocton hopes that with a revitalized downtown, neighborhoods may begin to follow suit and help grow a stronger pride in Coshocton.

Naylor and Wellman agreed that having a historic district could be the start of economic development for the area. They feel that focusing on the unique heritage of Coshocton could provide long-term benefits. Their power point presentation will be available on www.ourtowncoshocton.org soon.

The next public meeting about the historic district will be Tuesday, June 12 at 6 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Coshocton.

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