Last year's $20,000 award to the Tybee Theater in Chatham County was the first project supported with funds from license plate sales. The grant program is administered by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The four new projects include a courthouse, a theater, an opera house, and a National Historic Landmark:
- $14,985 to the Friends of Calhoun's GEM Theatre, Inc., to restore the historic plaster ceilings in the 1927 GEM Theatre, located in Calhoun, Gordon County.
- $10,800 to the Jenkins County Board of Commissioners to produce a historic structure report for the circa 1912 Jenkins County Courthouse, located in Millen, Jenkins County.
- $10,500 to the City of Hawkinsville to repair the historic windows in the Hawkinsville Opera House, built in 1907 and located in Pulaski County.
- $10,000 to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Development Fund, Inc. to produce a condition assessment report/preservation plan for the 1933 Georgia Hall, located at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, a National Historic Landmark, located in Warm Springs, Meriwether County.
Historic Preservation Division Acting Director Dr. Dave Crass said, "In 2008 we were able to fund only one $20,000 project that first year of revenue sales, so we are pleased to have been able to fund four projects this second year! We hope that sales revenue will continue to grow each year to come," he added.
The license plate, designed by Georgia artist Larnie Higgins of Planet Studio in Atlanta, was authorized by the 2005 Georgia General Assembly and signed into law at that time by Governor Perdue. More than $20 from each $25 license tag fee goes to HPD's Georgia Heritage Grant Program, which provides funding for historic preservation projects around the state.
Although the Georgia Heritage Grant Program is not a large grant program, it has made a significant impact on historic preservation projects in Georgia since the program began in 1995.
"The program has awarded over $3 million in matching grants to 239 preservation projects in the state since 1995," Crass said. Typical projects have benefitted a wide range of resources, such as lighthouses, cemeteries, theaters and auditoriums, post offices, jails and depots, 25 courthouses, and over 20 schools.
The license plate can be purchased at county tag offices for a $25 specialty tag fee.