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Mathews board pursues historic district designation

The first step was taken toward creation of a historic district in downtown Mathews last week when the Mathews County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to provide $5,000 for a $10,000 matching grant to pay for the application.

Forrest Morgan of the Mathews County Historical Society made the request, telling the board that the deadline to apply for the grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources was April 8. VDHR has $53,000 to allocate throughout the state in competitive matching grants, he said.

Morgan said that a downtown historic district would benefit the county by attracting visitors and would benefit downtown businesses individually because they would be eligible for tax credits of up to 20 percent from the state and up to 25 percent from the federal government. Even homeowners would be eligible for state tax credits of up 25 percent, he said, while nonprofit organizations will be able to sell their tax credits.

Morgan said there are no drawbacks to the desi...

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