Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The City of Lockport has received a pair of grants that will be used in an attempt to have the High Street and Locust Street neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.
At a meeting Wednesday, Common Council members added the grants to the revenue side of the 2014 budget. The awards, one for $10,000 and the other for $6,400, are from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Preservation League of New York.
If High and Locust are listed on the registry, the owners of about 85 homes and other properties will be eligible for state tax credits. Those credits would go to owners who do preservation-minded repairs and renovations, covering about 20 percent of the qualified expenses. But any work would have to be approved by the state first.
Working with Clinton Brown Company Architecture, the city plans to submit the neighborhood’s nomination for listing by the spring to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
In other city business, Common Council members approved a contract Wednesday with the New York Power Authority’s energy services program. The plan is to allow a NYPA-appointed contractor to make a number of energy efficient improvements in city buildings.
Those improvements include replacing light fixtures at the Wastewater Treatment Plant on West Jackson Street, the highway garage and City Hall. An electric water heater would also be replaced at City Hall.
Norman Allen, the city’s director of engineering, told Council members the annual cost would not exceed $11,220 and the contract would run for 10 years. But, the city wouldn’t pay anything for 2014 and the actual expense would likely be less, Allen said.
For the first year the energy efficiency would save about $9,000, then roughly $29,000 each year for the rest of the contract, Allen said. The new lights would be T8 fixtures, while the heater needs to be addressed now, Allen said.
And to do just that would’ve cost the city about $60,000, he said.
“It’s a good deal, I highly recommend it,” Allen told the Council.
NYPA is in the process of selecting a contractor and work is expected to start in May. Allen estimated the work would take about three to four months to complete.
• Council members made a change to the 2014 budget to include a state grant for fighting domestic violence. The city received $35,540 to fund a position dedicated to handling domestic cases.
The grant amount was left out of the budget, city officials said.
Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241, or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.