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RULE §12.7Grant or Loan Program

(a) Property Eligibility. In order to be eligible for grants or loans under the courthouse program, a historic courthouse owned by either a county or municipality must be:

  (1) listed in the National Register of Historic Places;

  (2) designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark;

  (3) designated a State Antiquities Landmark;

  (4) determined by the commission to qualify as an eligible property under the designations noted above;

  (5) certified by the commission as worthy of preservation; or,

  (6) designated by an ordinance of a municipality with a population of more than 1.5 million as historic.

(b) Master plan requirement. In order to be eligible for funding, a county or municipality must have completed a current master preservation plan approved by the commission. The commission may require an outdated master plan be updated prior to the date of application or a before a grant or loan is approved.

(c) Types of Assistance. The commission may provide financial assistance in the form of grants or loans. Grant or loan recipients shall be required to follow the terms and conditions of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program and other terms and conditions imposed by the commission at the time of the grant award or loan.

(d) Match for grant or loan assistance. Applicants eligible to receive grant or loan assistance should provide a minimum of 15% of the total project cost or other match requirements as determined by the commission. Credit toward the match may be given for a county's or municipality's prior capital and in-kind contributions and prior master planning costs, with not less than one half of the match derived from current cash match and/or planning match. In exceptional circumstances, the commission may, at its sole discretion, waive the match requirements and/or approve a larger credit toward prior expenditures.

(e) Allowable use of grant or loan monies.

  (1) A county or municipality that receives money under the courthouse program must use the money only for preservation, reconstruction, rehabilitation, restoration or other expenses that the commission determines eligible.

  (2) All work must comply with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (1995 edition, or as revised).

  (3) Individual grants or loans may not exceed $10 (ten) million and the cumulative total may not exceed $10 (ten) million to any one county or municipality.

  (4) The commission may grant a different amount than requested in a courthouse grant application.

(f) Administration. The courthouse program shall be administered by the commission.

(g) Advisory Committee.

  (1) The commission may appoint Advisory Committees or other working groups to advise the commission on matters related to the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program including courthouse maintenance.

  (2) The commission should consider the following when selecting members of an advisory committee or working group:

    (A) geographic diversity;

    (B) population;

    (C) area of expertise; and/or

    (D) representation of the public interest.

(h) Procedures. The commission shall adopt procedures, and revise them as necessary, to implement the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

(i) Compliance with current program grant manual and all other rules, statutes, policies, procedures and directives is mandatory for all historic courthouse projects unless written exception is provided by the commission due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of grantee or grantor.

(j) Grants for Construction Plans and Specifications:

  (1) The commission may make grants for the purpose of completing construction plans and specifications for courthouse construction projects.

  (2) A county or municipality receiving a grant for completing plans and specifications is encouraged to apply for a construction grant from this program at the next grant program funding opportunity following commission acceptance of the complete plans and specifications. In the subsequent grant application, the county or municipality should provide at least an equal level of commitment to program components as provided in their previous funding applications.

(k) Grants for Construction Defects:

  (1) The commission may make grants for the purpose of remedying defects in construction quality from a previous grant-funded project. Before applying for such a grant, a county or municipality must first pursue repairs under warranty or administrative remedies with their contractor, architect, or other party at fault for the defect.

  (2) If a county or municipality that receives a grant to remedy a construction defect later recovers funds related to the scope of the grant through litigation or a settlement agreement, the net amount recovered, minus court costs and attorney's fees, shall be ineligible for grant reimbursement. The commission may recapture the grant, or if the net amount recovered is insufficient to accomplish the full scope of work for the grant, the commission may revise the grant budget to consider such funds as the cash match and recapture the excess amount of the grant award. Further, the county or municipality must repay any such funds that were previously reimbursed, proportionate to the state share of the overall project costs.

Source Note: The provisions of this §12.7 adopted to be effective October 31, 1999, 24 TexReg 9277; amended to be effective March 30, 2003, 28 TexReg 2741; amended to be effective June 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 5337; amended to be effective July 2, 2006, 31 TexReg 5097; amended to be effective March 6, 2014, 39 TexReg 1357; amended to be effective November 28, 2018, 43 TexReg 7670; amended to be effective November 23, 2023, 48 TexReg 6739

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