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Save the Carnegie grants will need federal approval

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BEMIDJI -- According to feedback the Save the Bemidji Carnegie Library Committee received on its grant applications, the project plan is excellent, but missing a certain something: approval from the feds.

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Save the Carnegie treasurer Cathy Marchand said Monday the campaign’s plan to move the more than a hundred-year-old Carnegie Library away from the traffic of Highway 197 requires the approval of the National Park Service in order get grant funding. The campaign applied for two major state grants: one through the Legacy Amendment and a State Capital Grant-in-Aid, both sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society.

“The feedback we got from both of them was that they were very, very positive about both applications but the timing was wrong because we don’t have the prior authorization of the National Park Service to move the building,” Marchand said.

She said the campaign needs NPS to say that the Carnegie will stay on the National Registry of Historic Places -- even if the place the Carnegie located in technically changes.

“They don’t want to essentially give state money away that runs the risk of the building not being on the national register in the future,” she said.

The next task before the campaign is to work with the historical society to edit their application before sending it to the National Park Service for approval.

Although Marchand said NPS approval could take six months or longer after receive the application, she is optimistic the entire process would happen in time for the 2015 round of grant applications.

“It has to,” she said.

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