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State Historic Preservation Office
State Capital Projects Grants-in-Aid

State Capital ProjectGrants-in-Aid: Frequently Asked Questions


Norman County Courthouse

The grant guidelines state that the work must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation? What are these?
The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for establishing professional standards and providing advice on the preservation and protection of all cultural resources listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The Standardsare a set of nationally adopted, common sense historic preservation guidelines that advocate the preservation of a property's significance through the preservation of historic materials and features. They are intended to provide guidance to historic building owners and managers preservation consultants, architects, and contractors. The Cultural Resource Division of the National Park Service (NPS) maintains a website that describes the Standards in detail.
NPS Secretary of the Interior's Standards

How long does the grant review process take?
Approximately four to five months. Pre-application are generally due at the beginning of August, and final applications at the beginning of September. Eligible applications are reviewed by Grants Office staff and other Minnesota Historical Society personnel. Applications along with staff recommendation are sent to the Grants Review Committee (GRC) which includes members of the Minnesota Historical Society's Executive Council. Applications are considered by the GRC at a public meeting held at the end of October. At this meeting, the GRC recommends either approval or denial for each application and sends them to the Society's Executive Committee for final approval. This final approval takes place at the Executive Committee's meeting at the end of November. Shortly thereafter, applicants are notified by letter regarding the decision.

What are our chances of receiving a full grant award of $150,000?
It depends on the amount requested in a particular grant cycle. The goal of the grant program is to fund as many worthy projects throughout the state as possible. Some years, the Grants Office receives more than three times the amount in grant requests than it has in available grant dollars. Grant awards at higher levels are rare.

If our project is funded, when can we begin and start spending the grant money?
The project cannot begin or project expenses incurred until all the required grant documents are signed and returned to the Grants Office. Generally, these documents are distributed to grant recipients toward the end of December. Once these documents are returned to the Grants Office, they are signed by Society officials. Authorization to begin work and copies of the fully executed documents are returned to the grantee approximately one to two weeks after their return to the Grants Office.

Are there any conditions that have to be met during the project and once a grant project is complete?
Yes. After a grant award has been approved, the grantee must sign a Grant Agreement that outlines the terms and conditions established for each award. It will specify a project start date, end date, approved scope of work, and an approved project budget. It also contains the following stipulations:

  1. Changes in approved projects may not be made without approval in writing from the Minnesota Historical Society.
  2. All publicity releases, informational brochures, public reports, publications, and other public information relating to approved project budgets must acknowledge assistance from the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minnesota Legislature in writing. A project identification sign must also be posted in a prominent location while project work is in progress.
  3. Final Reports must be submitted to the Grants Office thirty (30) days following the assigned end date for the project. Final reports are described in detail in the State Capital Projects Grants-in-Aid Manual.
  4. The grantee agrees to hold harmless the Minnesota Historical Society and the State of Minnesota for any action, complaint, discriminatory proceedings, or litigation of any kind, in conjunction with the funded project.
  5. The grantee agrees to sign a Letter of Agreement Governing Use of a Historic Site assuming responsibility to maintain the historic property in a satisfactory manner for a specified number of years after the grant funded project is completed. For grants between $10,000 and $25,000, a ten (10) year Letter of Agreement is required; for grants greater than $25,000, a twenty (20) year Letter of Agreement is required.

In addition to the terms of the Grant Agreement, a declaration stating that the property was funded with state bond funds must be attached to the official property deed filed with the County Recorder's Office in which the property is located. This is a requirement of all construction projects funded during the State of Minnesota legislative bonding session.

Can a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization apply to this program?
Non-profit organizations whose primary purpose is historic preservation and/or interpretation can apply only if the building it occupies is owned by an eligible unit of government. There must be a lease or management agreement in place between the two parties before a grant application is submitted.