110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
ECHO listening sessions scheduled
By Pat Andrews
posted May 6, 2013 - 9:26:18am
DeBary Hall has sprung a leak, or its ceiling has, and repairs are needed right away.
The county's Historic Preservation Board requested an emergency stabilization grant be awarded through the Environmental, Cultural, Historic or Outdoor Recreational (ECHO) grant program to pay for the repairs.
The ECHO advisory board will take up the request during its 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, meeting in the Frank T. Bruno Jr. County Council Chambers in the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, at 123 W. Indiana Ave. in DeLand.
County spokesman Dave Byron said the Historic Preservation Board recommended a $355,275 emergency grant for DeBary Hall because of a roof leak that poses a threat to the building's interior.
"ECHO rules allow for emergency grants for repairs for qualified projects," he said.
Champagne magnate Frederick deBary built the hall in 1871 as a hunting lodge and winter retreat.
The historic site is now owned by the State of Florida and leased to the County of Volusia.
If the ECHO board approves the request, it will go to the County Council for final approval.
Byron said the building isn't in danger while the grant request goes through channels, "but it's something we need to fix as quickly as possible, just to be sure."
The County Council is considering how it wants to handle ECHO requests in the future. Staff from the Volusia ECHO program will host five community listening sessions to give residents an opportunity to comment about the program’s future. At least one Volusia County Council member is expected to attend each session.
Two sessions are scheduled in West Volusia, 5-8 p.m. on these dates:
• Tuesday, May 14, at the Museum of Florida Art, 600 N. Woodland Blvd., in DeLand
• Tuesday, June 4, at Lyonia Environmental Center, 2150 Eustace Ave., in Deltona.
The ECHO program, approved by taxpayers in 2000, provides funds for the acquisition or construction of environmental, cultural, historic and outdoor recreation facilities for the public .For more information, contact ECHO coordinator Bobbie King at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 386-736-5953. To learn more about the Volusia ECHO program, visit www.volusiaforever-echo.com online.
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