County won’t oppose district’s plans

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Planning Board on Tuesday remained neutral during a review of the Northville Historic District’s nomination to the national and state registers of historic places.

County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty presented the proposed nomination to the board, asking if it wanted to weigh in on the nomination.

“It’s a recognition, more than anything else,” Geraghty said of the registers.

The county board decided to stay out of the issue, which is being considered by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The Northville Historic District is located completely within the municipal limits of the village. The district makes up Main and Bridge streets and portions of Division Street, as well as First Street through Sixth Street. It reverts back to before 1930 and the creation of the Great Sacandaga Lake.

“It really is the old village of Northville, prior to the Sacandaga Reservoir flooding, when people starting developing as close to the lake as they could,” Geraghty stated.

Board Chairman John Blackmon said Northville Central School is already on the historic registers.

Geraghty said that according to the nomination registration form, the historic district encompasses about 85.9 acres and includes 228 buildings and two other sites. He said the district includes both the historic residential and commercial core of the village’s three main streets, but not areas of the village that were developed in the 1930s after flooding of the Sacandaga River.

Board member Ryan Fagan asked if there were any businesses within the districts, with Geraghty mentioning the Inn at the Bridge bed and breakfast on Bridge Street.

Northville village trustees in December approved an initiative by the Community Collaboration Council to seek historic district status for the village.

Geraghty said there are several benefits to being listed on the national and state registers. Among them, he said, are that a listing can raise a community’s awareness of its past. Owners of historic, commercial and rental properties can qualify for a preservation tax credit, as long as the work performed on the building meets federal preservation standards.

According to the Community Collaboration Council, historic district businesses could receive an income tax credit of 20 percent at the federal level and 20 percent at the state level of the cost of a renovation on a building that qualified with the state. A residence can receive a state tax credit of 20 percent of the cost of the renovation if the renovation’s cost is over $5,000.

Geraghty said other benefits to being listed on the registers include not-for-profit organizations and municipalities being allowed to apply for historic preservation grants. Properties on the registers also receive a measure of protection from state and federal projects.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.