PRINTER'S NO. 1818

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


HOUSE BILL

No. 1471 Session of 2007


        INTRODUCED BY M. KELLER, PICKETT, CLYMER, COHEN, CREIGHTON,
           DENLINGER, EVERETT, FLECK, FREEMAN, GEIST, GIBBONS, GINGRICH,
           HARHART, HENNESSEY, HERSHEY, JAMES, JOSEPHS, KULA, MELIO,
           MILLARD, MOUL, MOYER, MURT, MYERS, NAILOR, O'NEILL, PAYNE,
           PEIFER, PETRONE, PHILLIPS, PYLE, RAPP, REICHLEY, RUBLEY,
           SCHRODER, McILVAINE SMITH, SOLOBAY, STERN, R. STEVENSON,
           SURRA, WALKO, WATSON AND YOUNGBLOOD, JUNE 5, 2007

        REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON TOURISM AND RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
           JUNE 5, 2007

                                     AN ACT

     1  Establishing the Historic Barn Grant Program to provide for the
     2     partial costs of rehabilitation or restoration of historic
     3     barns; conferring powers and duties on the Pennsylvania
     4     Historical and Museum Commission; and providing for funding.

     5     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     6  hereby enacts as follows:
     7  Section 1.  Short title.
     8     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Historic Barn
     9  Act.
    10  Section 2.  Legislative findings.
    11     The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
    12         (1)  Statewide, 53% of all barns in inventory were built
    13     before 1880.
    14         (2)  Pennsylvania has a wide distribution of historic
    15     barns designed in various styles. Every region of this
    16     Commonwealth has a significant number of historic barns, the

     1     majority of which are in agricultural use.
     2         (3)  Approximately 33% of all historic barn owners
     3     provide some type of agritourism activity readily accessible
     4     to the public.
     5         (4)  The majority of historic barn owners participate in
     6     a State or local farmland preservation program. Historic barn
     7     properties are being protected from sprawl-like development,
     8     but historic barns are not specifically preserved themselves.
     9         (5)  Most of the historic barns in inventory are in
    10     generally good condition, however, 82% of historic barn
    11     owners cited a need for repair within five years.
    12  Section 3.  Definitions.
    13     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    14  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    15  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    16     "Commission."  The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
    17  Commission.
    18     "Costs of rehabilitation or restoration."  Costs attributed
    19  to the rehabilitation or restoration of a historic barn,
    20  including historic decorative elements, upgrading of the
    21  structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and
    22  architectural fees and alterations to make the historic barn
    23  suitable for agricultural use. The term shall not include costs
    24  attributable to the acquisition of real property, the
    25  enlargement of an existing building, landscaping, driveways and
    26  other site features, outbuildings or garages that do not possess
    27  income-producing capability and personal labor performed by the
    28  owner.
    29     "Department."  The Department of Agriculture of the
    30  Commonwealth.
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     1     "Eligible applicant."  A resident of this Commonwealth who
     2  owns a historic barn.
     3     "Grant."  A grant awarded under this act.
     4     "Historic barn."  A structure that is located within the
     5  Commonwealth, is used for agricultural production and meets all
     6  of the following criteria:
     7         (1)  The structure is utilized in any of the following
     8     manners:
     9             (i)  To store farm implements, hay, feed, grain or
    10         any other agricultural or horticultural products.
    11             (ii)  To house poultry, livestock or other farm
    12         animals.
    13             (iii)  As a milk house.
    14             (iv)  For a manner directly and customarily
    15         associated with agricultural use.
    16         (2)  The structure meets one of the following:
    17             (i)  Meets the eligibility requirements to be listed
    18         on the National Register of Historic Places or has been
    19         designated by the Federal or State government as a
    20         historic property.
    21             (ii)  Is located in an area designated by the Federal
    22         or State government as a historic district.
    23             (iii)  Is located in an area designated as a historic
    24         district under section 2 of the act of June 13, 1961
    25         (P.L.282, No.167), entitled, "An act authorizing
    26         counties, cities, boroughs, incorporated towns and
    27         townships to create historic districts within their
    28         geographic boundaries; providing for the appointment of
    29         Boards of Historical Architectural Review; empowering
    30         governing bodies of political subdivisions to protect the
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     1         distinctive historical character of these districts and
     2         to regulate the erection, reconstruction, alteration,
     3         restoration, demolition or razing of buildings within the
     4         historic districts."
     5             (iv)  Is at least 50 years of age.
     6         (3)  The building is situate upon property which
     7     contributes to generating a minimum of $1,000 of annual farm
     8     income.
     9  Section 4.  Historic Barn Grant Program.
    10     (a)  Establishment.--The commission shall establish a
    11  Historic Barn Grant Program.
    12     (b)  Distribution.--The commission shall distribute grants
    13  for historic barn rehabilitation or restoration to eligible
    14  applicants through an application process.
    15     (c)  Maximum amount.--A grant shall provide for a maximum of
    16  50% of the costs of rehabilitation or restoration.
    17  Section 5.  Eligibility.
    18     An eligible applicant may apply for a grant under all of the
    19  following criteria:
    20         (1)  The historic barn shall be situate within this
    21     Commonwealth.
    22         (2)  The historic barn is in need of rehabilitation or
    23     restoration, including repairs to foundations, sills,
    24     windows, walls, structural framework, siding and the repair
    25     and replacement of roofs.
    26         (3)  The rehabilitation or restoration preserves the
    27     historic character, features and materials of the historic
    28     barn.
    29  Section 6.  Application.
    30     (a)  Submittal.--An eligible applicant may apply for a grant
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     1  to provide for costs of rehabilitation and restoration by
     2  submitting an application to the commission on a form prescribed
     3  by the commission.
     4     (b)  Information required.--An eligible applicant shall
     5  provide to the commission all of the following:
     6         (1)  A brief history of the historic barn, including the
     7     date of construction.
     8         (2)  Photographs of the historic barn.
     9         (3)  A summary of the historic barn's importance to the
    10     public.
    11         (4)  The estimated costs of rehabilitation or
    12     restoration.
    13         (5)  A schedule of when the historic barn will be open to
    14     the public, as required under section 8(b)(3).
    15     (c)  Matching funding.--An eligible applicant shall provide
    16  matching funding of at least 50% of the estimated costs of
    17  rehabilitation or restoration and any related documentation as
    18  the commission may require.
    19  Section 7.  Review.
    20     (a)  Consideration.--The commission shall consider all of the
    21  following criteria when reviewing an application for a grant:
    22         (1)  Relative historical and cultural significance of the
    23     barn.
    24         (2)  Urgency of need for historic barn repair.
    25         (3)  Visibility and availability of the historic barn to
    26     the public.
    27         (4)  Capability of the eligible applicant to initiate,
    28     fund and complete the project.
    29     (b)  Special consideration.--In awarding a grant, special
    30  consideration shall be given to a historic barn that is at least
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     1  one of the following:
     2         (1)  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
     3         (2)  An outstanding example of its type or era.
     4     (c)  Review assistance.--The department may serve as a
     5  resource to the commission in reviewing grant applications.
     6  Section 8.  Award.
     7     (a)  General rule.--To the extent funds are available, the
     8  commission shall award a grant to an eligible applicant that
     9  meets the provisions of this act. The award amount shall be
    10  determined by the commission.
    11     (b)  Compliance.--An eligible applicant that receives a grant
    12  shall comply with all of the following:
    13         (1)  A contract between an eligible applicant and the
    14     commission shall be executed prior to commencement of
    15     rehabilitation or restoration of a historic barn. The
    16     contract shall specify the terms and conditions governing the
    17     grant, including a date by which the project shall be
    18     completed.
    19         (2)  An eligible applicant shall maintain a historic barn
    20     for a minimum of ten years after receiving a grant.
    21         (3)  An eligible applicant shall offer visits to the
    22     public at least four times per year.
    23  Section 18.  Regulations.
    24     The commission may promulgate regulations as it deems
    25  necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
    26  Section 19.  Funding.
    27     Grants shall be awarded to the extent that funds are
    28  appropriated by the General Assembly.
    29  Section 20.  Effective date.
    30     This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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