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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 5 months ago

Ormond Beach to apply for ECHO grant for MacDonald House repairs

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The Ormond Beach Historical Society has pledged to contribute $100,000 toward the application.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

A unanimous vote by the Ormond Beach City Commission triggered a sigh of relief from members of the Historical Society at Tuesday night's meeting, as the commission agreed to let the city apply for a county ECHO grant to restore the MacDonald House on the society's behalf.

The city received the request from the Historical Society on Sept. 26, according to a city memo. Due to the ECHO grant requirement of a long-term lease, the Historical Society couldn't apply for the grant on its own. However, the organization pledged to contribute $100,000 toward the application.

The MacDonald House dates back to 1903 and is one of the oldest remaining structures in Ormond Beach. The city purchased the building back in 1979 and has restored part of the building along with community partners, the memo states. 

However, it is still in deep need of repairs, including improvements to the tower roof, wall renovations, removal of asbestos and lead paint, as well as siding repairs. The grant application is meant to help kickstart the multi-phase project, which could cost anywhere between $700,000-800,000. 

The city would match the Historical Society's contribution in the hopes of receiving a total of about $305,000 in both ECHO and city funding.

“I think this is fantastic," City Commissioner Dwight Selby said. "I appreciate the Historical Society stepping up and doing this.”

The city is also planning to budget $400,000 in the 2020-2021 fiscal year to further fund renovations. If it receives the ECHO grant, repairs could start in October 2020. 

City Commissioner Susan Persis commended Historical Society President Bonda Garrison on the organization's efforts to save the MacDonald House.

“I know you’ve worked really, really hard." Persis said. :So, it looks like it’s all going to come together. I’m proud of you.”

If the city isn't awarded the ECHO grant, the Historical Society's $100,000 will be returned within 30 days.

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