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Preservation of a community’s historic resources is best undertaken at the local level.  State law allows local municipalities and counties to enact a local historic preservation ordinance to oversee the preservation policy of the local governmental entity.  The Mississippi Department of Archives and History best works with communities who have made this commitment through the Certified Local Government Program.

The local government must pass a historic preservation ordinance based on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s sample state enabling ordinance. However, the local government should work closely with the local preservation assistance staff to make sure that the ordinance passed meets the individual needs of the community.

Through this process, the local government can oversee changes made within local historic districts.  Local historic districts are areas within the community that have been designated by the local government as historically significant.  The process for designation is found in the local enabling ordinance, Section VI of the state sample ordinance.

It is strongly recommended that the entire process be vigorous in engaging the public in the process. The MDAH local preservation assistance coordinator can provide insight to help the local government attain this goal.

Additionally, the private sector should also be a strong advocate for historic preservation at the local level.  The Mississippi Main Street Association and the Mississippi Heritage Trust are MDAH preservation partners who work more closely with private preservation efforts.