Preserve Kingston’s Heritage
We are all fortunate to live in a beautiful town with a history that spans almost 320 years. Many of the historic buildings and sites that were created during those years are now long gone. But there are still many wonderful historic buildings and sites that remain today, in a variety of conditions. Now is the time to focus on preserving these treasured remnants of our town’s history.
On voting day, Kingston residents will be asked to authorize the Town to establish a Heritage Commission and a Heritage Fund.
Under state guidelines, Heritage Commissions are designed to give local governments a valuable tool for the proper recognition, use and protection of the town’s historic and cultural heritage. Right now we have several groups doing good and necessary work to preserve some aspects of our town’s heritage. As important as these individual efforts are, we need a group to help protect all of the town’s historic resources.
Unlike a number of other Boards or Commissions in a Town that have regulatory responsibilities, a Heritage Commission functions solely in an advisory or review capacity. Among its advisory functions are things like providing advice and assistance to other town boards and committees, coordinating activities with service organizations, non-profit groups and other historic preservation organizations and assisting individual owners seeking to obtain information on how to preserve and protect their historic properties. One thing Historic Commissions do not do, is regulate what individual citizens do to their own property.
State guidelines also allow municipalities to establish a Heritage Fund. This is a non-lapsing fund, similar to funds in place for other town departments to allow money to be carried over from year to year until spent. Money appropriated by the town, or received through grants, donations, fund raisers or other sources are placed in this fund.
I urge you to vote yes on Articles 20 and 21 and help preserve the historical and cultural resources that define Kingston’s character.