State Historic Preservation Division seeks budget increase to fill gaps

The State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources is waiting for Governor David Ige to approve his proposal to increase the budget for the 2022 legislative session.

The proposed budget will help preservation staff effectively examine historic properties, including burial sites and fish ponds, and digitize documents.

If the proposed budget is approved, SHPD will add 15 new positions including four archaeologists, three administrators, two architectural historians, two burial site specialists, a technical archivist, a historian and a geographic information systems specialist.

SHPD is also requesting permission to launch a third-party review program.

“We have experience of receiving reports that are really not ready for review – so they’re missing pieces, they’re not internally consistent and things of that nature,” said the division administrator, Dr Alan Downer.

“So the third-party review, the idea is that they would go through it and do it before it was submitted. Then it would come to us clean and ready for review,” Downer said.

The increase in staff will help manage its current workload as well as the increase in work arising from federal projects funded by Building Back Better.

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