The commission is responsible for providing review for federally funded projects and oversight for locally imposed historic covenants.
- Federally Funded Projects –
When federal funding is involved in work on or near properties listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, the work must be approved prior to implementation. This is a requirement of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, revised in 1999. In essence, Section 106 says if you are going to use federal money for a project, you must make every effort to avoid negative effects on historic properties. If a negative effect is unavoidable, some mitigating action must be agreed upon and undertaken to offset the negative effect. Architectural, archaeological and cultural properties are included in this definition of historic properties. The Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission provides the first review of local projects and makes a recommendation to the State Historic Preservation Office, which then makes a determination that, if contested, is subject to review at the federal level.
- Local Covenants –
A number of properties in Grand Forks have historic covenants attached. The covenants were put in place because federal funding has been used for the building in some way. Sometimes, a property owner has accepted a grant to assist with repairs to a historic building; the covenant is attached to protect the investment of federal funds. In Grand Forks, many homes were purchased after the flood of 1997. The city was able to resell some of these after dike lines and other criteria were established. Since the houses were originally purchased with federal funds, historic covenants were attached to those that were more than 50 years old; again, in an effort to protect the investment of federal funds. The commission reviews owner proposals for changes to their locally covenanted properties. The commission is also asked to monitor historic properties where the covenants have been placed by state or federal entities, usually because of preservation grants.