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Editor, The Beacon:

Twenty years ago, Volusia County residents voted to support the creation of “environmental, cultural, historic and outdoors” resources through the ECHO fund.

Since then, the Barberville Pioneer Settlement has benefited as a recipient of three ECHO grants, which have enabled us to preserve two of the county’s most significant historical treasures: the Central School of Barberville, built in 1919, and the area’s oldest brick residence, the Joseph Underhill House, built circa 1879 by pioneers.

The Barberville Pioneer Settlement would not be what it is today without Volusia County residents’ support of the ECHO program.

Now, on their Nov. 3 ballots, voters must decide whether to continue this program. The ECHO program is deserving of your support again.

For the average homeowner, the contribution to the ECHO fund is just $25 annually, which equates to just 20 cents per $1,000 of taxable property value.

The Barberville Pioneer Settlement hopes to utilize ECHO grants for future historic-preservation projects for future generations.

Please vote yes to ECHO!

Debra Ann West

— West is executive director of the Barberville Pioneer Settlement

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