Proposed Guntersville historic district would bring tax incentives for businesses

Northeast Alabama
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A project years in the making could highlight a part of one of Marshall County’s oldest cities.

Driving into downtown Guntersville you’re met with some buildings that date back to the years directly after the Civil War.

Many other towns and cities that have buildings that old designate them with a historic district.

One of Marshall County’s oldest cities doesn’t, and that is on its way to changing.

“It’s just taken time to get it organized,” Historic Preservation Commission Chair Jeff McLaughlin says, “I’ll tell you, Guntersville has been about this for ten years or more.”

McLaughlin says a section of downtown Guntersville is already recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, but their goal is to make a recognized historic district through the downtown area.

McLaughlin says recent changes in the law surrounding that process is making it easier to do so. “There’s some tax incentives in creating this historic district,” McLaughlin says.

Those tax incentives are on a federal and state level for the businesses included in the district.

McLaughlin says the proposed district spans most of the downtown area on Gunter Avenue near the river bridge before branching off.

The buildings in that area date from the late 1800s to the early 1900s and on.

McLaughlin says they are concerned with maintaining the exterior portion of those buildings.

The proposal has already gone before city leaders and it is expected to be discussed again in upcoming meetings.

Guntersville isn’t the only city working on a proposal for a historic district.

The city of Arab voted on a proposal in the last several days.

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