The proposal from the historic restoration experts is broken into 3 phases so that each phase can be done as a project that meets the financial requirements of the Historic Tax Credit program, for reimbursement of up to 25% of qualified expenses. Theoretically, we could complete one phase, submit our request for reimbursement of expenses, and receive that refund before moving on to the second phase. This would stretch out the projects over a period of 3 years, the timeframe for the Historic Tax Credit program.
The historic restoration experts recommend starting with the belfry and exterior, because those projects will be the most likely to qualify for programs such as the Historic Tax Credit reimbursement of expenses and for grants specifically focused on historic restoration, restoration and preservation. They advise submitting applications for all 3 phases, to make sure they are approved, and then we can decide to one project at a time – as long as the projects are completed within the program’s timeframe, ie. 3 years for the Historic Tax Credit program.
The Fellowship will need to decide which, if any, phases we will proceed with – and a timeline and more detailed budget will need to be developed.
The groups that are forming will focus on the Possible Restoration Initiative, and will be operating as “Work Groups” – not to be confused with our standing “Committees” that exist to enhance and support our congregational life. The three Work Groups have charges specific to the historic restoration – to raise funds, oversee financials, manage projects – and will be meeting from August-December, to help determine whether the Fellowship has the people and financial resources needed for a successful restoration project. If the Fellowship moves forward beyond December, the charges to the Work Groups will be revisited.
There will be opportunities for the congregation to work with the Project Management Work Group and suggest modifications for the interior when we get to Phase 3 of the 3-phase initiative. This will be part of the design activity that will take place after the Fellowship makes a commitment to that phase of the initiative.
This decision about where to meet will be addressed over the next 5 months by the Board and the Work Groups – looking at whether there will be an additional cost if we choose to meet in-person at another location, or continue with virtual services during that time.
There are a number of issues, especially externally, that will need to be addressed and potentially paid for entirely by our Fellowship in future years – if they are not addressed by this project. The specific costs for these issues would need to be determined – either now, when we’re getting estimates for element of the restoration initiative – or at the time they are being addressed. One of the reasons for considering this initiative at this time is to access resources that are being made available to us, through work with Gronen Restoration, Heritage Works, and a matching funds offer – to help cover a large portion of upgrading and maintenance costs, along with restoration.