BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The City of Lacombe’s Heritage Resources Committee has awarded two grants for work completed this year as part of the Municipal Heritage Program.
St. Andrew’s United Church and the Michener House Museum were each awarded $5,000 to cover the costs of recent architectural upgrade projects.
These were the first projects to receive funding allocation under this grant program.
“Grant funding is an important method for the City to support the maintenance and conservation of our Municipal Historic Resources,” said City Planner Jennifer Kirchner.
“This funding helps heritage property owners maintain the unique architectural elements of their buildings, so that future generations are able to truly enjoy these structures.”
All buildings in Lacombe that are designated as Municipal Historic Resources are eligible to apply for grant funding to help with their maintenance and conservation by contacting Kirchner at the City.
All buildings over 50 years old are eligible for historical designation status, meaning treasured homes and workplaces might be able to get a leg up on architectural projects that protect the integral design of the facility.
“We have some criteria about what types of projects count. The projects must protect the important elements of the building that makes them unique or be projects that help protect the structure itself.
“In this case, with Michener House, there were renovations to the roof and with St. Andrew’s United Church there were a variety of things being done including repainting the woodwork, replacing the roof and replacing the protective glass that encases the stained glass windows.”
Kirchner said these are the types of projects that help to maintain the beloved historical buildings within the City.
She gave a few examples of other projects that could be eligible, including wood-paneling projects that take time to prepare with prepping the wood or replacing electrical systems in a historic building that are no longer up to safety codes.
“Lots of people who think of Lacombe and what sets us apart from other communities point to our heritage buildings and care for our history. It’s something that is definitely a unique characteristic about our community, and it’s something that people from other areas recognize,” Kirchner said.
She added it’s an important part of Lacombe’s tourism to be able to preserve and maintain the heritage buildings.
“When you protect those historical structures, you’re not only protecting it for the City but they are being protected for future generations and for visitors who come to enjoy the City,” she said.
Kirchner encourages people who reside in or work in buildings over the 50-year mark to apply for the Municipal Heritage Resource status.
Lacombe currently has five buildings that have been designated under this status that include the Michener House, the Kent house, St. Andrew’s United Church, the Young Residence and the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop.