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1. What is the Certified Local Government (CLG) program?

The Certified Local Government (CLG) program extends the federal (National Park Service) and state (Mississippi Department of Archives and History) partnership to the local level. Any city, town, or county that has enacted a historic preservation ordinance, enforces that ordinance through a local historic preservation commission, and has met the requirements outlined in the Mississippi Certified Local Government Guidelines is eligible to become a CLG.

2. What are the benefits of becoming a CLG?

The benefits of becoming a CLG include:

  • improved communication and coordination with, local, state, and federal preservation activities;
  • opportunities for technical assistance and educational opportunities about historic preservation;
  • assistance to the CLG in developing a preservation plan;
  • the opportunity to review local nominations for the National Register of Historic Places prior to consideration by the Mississippi Professional National Register Review Board;
  • eligibility for CLG grant funds;
  • ability for organizations in CLG communities in good standing to apply for Community Heritage Preservation Grants for properties other than courthouses and schools.

3. What are the responsibilities of a CLG?

The local city, town, county, or county-municipality (through a Memorandum of Understanding) must do the following:

  • enact an ordinance which establishes a historic preservation commission and which includes designation provisions for the identification and registration of historic property and the protection of such property;
  • enforce the preservation ordinance;
  • appoint and maintain a qualified historic preservation commission which meets at least quarterly;
  • abide by the provisions of the certification agreement including keeping MDAH informed of preservation activities through submission of minutes, annual reports, and other communication;
  • maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties in the local area;
  • provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program;
  • recommend properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places;
  • review National Register of Historic Places nominations that involve properties within the local government’s jurisdiction;
  • adhere to all federal requirements for CLG Program;
  • if awarded preservation funding, abide by the grant agreement;

4. We're already a Main Street community. Do we need to become a CLG, too?

The Mississippi Main Street program emphasizes good local organization, promotion, design, and economic development and has been adapted to meet the needs of many Mississippi towns. The CLG program serves communities of all sizes to help integrate historic preservation and the local government, to help thread historic preservation into local land-use policy. Many communities have successfully integrated preservation planning and Main Street programs.

5. If we want to have an historic preservation commission / district, do we have to apply for CLG designation?

While most communities in Mississippi with a Historic Preservation Commission are designated as CLGs, it is optional. Communities with preservation commissions and districts who are not CLGs receive very limited assistance from MDAH to further their preservation efforts.

6. Is there a population requirement for participation in the CLG program?

No, participation is open to local governments of any size.

7. Can someone come to my community to talk to my local elected officials about the CLG program?

Yes, contact Michelle Jones, senior local preservation assistance coordinator at 662-325-2520 or mijones@mdah.state.ms.us. Michelle Jones and Vicki Myers are the Certified Local Government coordinators for Mississippi.

8. Is there an opportunity for our historic preservation commission (HPC) to get training?

Yes! The Historic Preservation Division regularly provides training at little to minimal cost. Each February, the HPD staff has five regional training sessions on a single topic across the state. In May, MDAH co-sponsors the Mississippi Statewide Historic Preservation Conference with the Mississippi Heritage Trust. Each second week of June, the HPD staff has a two day intense training session called Preservation Boot Camp. In August or September there is an advanced training session that results from specific issues communities have contacted CLG coordinators about during the year.

9. We're already certified; how do we apply for grants?

Grant applications are automatically sent by the CLG Grants Coordinator Vicki Myers to the CLG contact within each local government. For more information Vicki may be contacted at 601-576-6940 or vmyers@mdah.state.ms.us. If the local government has a long term commitment to historic preservation, the CLG program can be useful tool to assist the community in achieving its goals. The average CLG Grant award is around $5,000 – and rarely does a community receive more than $10,000 for their projects so it is not the best source of funds for major capital projects. CLG status does allow the community to have access to the Community Heritage Grant awards; however, that is a highly competitive process as well and is funded at the will of the legislature.