H.R.5202 - Veterans National Heritage Preservation Act of 2002107th Congress (2001-2002)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Hall, Tony P. [D-OH-3] (Introduced 07/24/2002)|
|Committees:||House - Veterans' Affairs; Resources|
|Latest Action:||House - 08/09/2002 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.5202 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (07/24/2002)
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 5202 Introduced in House (IH)] 107th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5202 To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for preservation and protection of historic buildings under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 24, 2002 Mr. Hall of Ohio introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for preservation and protection of historic buildings under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans National Heritage Preservation Act of 2002''. SEC. 2. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to provide for the preservation and protection of the most historically significant buildings of the Department of Veterans Affairs, to provide for the documentation and appreciation of the historic significance of those buildings, and to increase public understanding of the Nation's long commitment to honoring veterans. SEC. 3. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) One of the last Acts signed by President Lincoln before his assassination in 1865 established the National Asylum for disabled volunteer soldiers and sailors of the Civil War (renamed the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in 1873 and often referred to as the National Military Home). (2) The National Home eventually expanded to comprise ten branches and one sanatorium in Togus, Maine (1866); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1867); Dayton, Ohio (1867); Hampton, Virginia (1870); Leavenworth, Kansas (1885); Santa Monica, California (1888); Marion, Indiana (1888); Danville, Illinois (1898); Johnson City, Tennessee (1901); Hot Springs, South Dakota (1902); and Bath, New York (1929). (3) Until it was combined with the Veterans Bureau to become the United States Veterans Administration in 1930, the National Home cared for more than 100,000 Civil War and other veterans, many of whom were shattered physically and spiritually from the carnage of war. (4) The National Home evolved into complete planned communities with barracks, mess halls, gate houses, chapels, schools, hotels, libraries, band stands, amusements halls, theaters, shops, and other structures, many of which still stand, and include outstanding examples of 19th and early 20th century architecture. (5) The National Home is an important part of the Nation's history, representing many historical developments, including the Nation's first non-religious planned communities, the first Federal effort to establish large-scale rehabilitation programs, a significant expansion of Federal benefits to citizen-veterans, a landmark in the development of Federal responsibility for the social safety net, and the first permanent churches constructed by the Federal Government. (6) The branches of the National Home made significant contributions to the history, identity, and culture of the communities in which they are located. (7) The Department of Veterans Affairs has jurisdiction over about 1,680 historic buildings in nearly every State of the Union. (8) Preservation of historic buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs contributes to the heritage of all Americans and represents a powerful symbol of the national debt to the Nation's war veterans. (9) Partnerships between the Department of Veterans Affairs, other Federal agencies, and State and local governments and nonprofit organizations have the potential to help restore, maintain, interpret, and reuse the historic buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs. (10) The veterans service organizations AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars jointly support establishing historic preservation as a responsibility of the Department of Veterans Affairs, systematically preserving the Department's most important historic buildings, and reducing legal, administrative, and financial barriers to adaptive reuse of historic properties by local communities. (11) More than 100 historic buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs, including the Nation's first permanent church building constructed by the Federal Government, are underutilized or vacant and are threatened with deterioration and demolition. (12) Providing for the Department of Veterans Affairs' historic preservation requirements in no way need diminish funding for the Department's other missions and is fully consistent with the Department's broader goal of honoring and caring for the Nation's veterans. TITLE I--PRESERVATION OF HISTORIC FACILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS SEC. 101. DEFINITION. Section 101 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(34) The term `historic building' means a building listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places.''. SEC. 102. MISSIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO INCLUDE HISTORIC PRESERVATION. (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``Sec. 117. Historic preservation mission ``(a) It is a mission and responsibility of the Department to maintain its most significant historic buildings and to preserve them for future generations. ``(b) It is the sense of Congress that, in keeping with the mission of the Department specified in subsection (a)-- ``(1) wherever practical, the historic buildings of the Department should be preserved, protected, restored, interpreted, reused, and maintained as a living memorial to the contributions of veterans to the Nation; ``(2) the director of each major Department facility that is listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places should-- ``(A) make available to the cultural resources management officer of that facility sufficient resources to document, conserve, and display items of historical significance and assist with the preservation of the history of the facility; and ``(B) provide that officer with appropriate information and sufficient training, appropriate publications, authority, and total access to budgetary, management, and decision making processes to permit effective coordination of its cultural resource management plan; ``(3) whenever feasible, the Secretary should restore and use historic buildings, rather than carry out new construction, for Department purposes; ``(4) the Secretary should make greater use of the leasing authority for historic buildings that is provided for Federal agencies under section 111 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470h-3); ``(5) the Secretary should reduce barriers to reuse of historic buildings by non-Department private and public organizations if such reuse would enhance historic preservation of those buildings; ``(6) the Secretary should work with the Secretary of the Interior to coordinate historic preservation activities of the Department; and ``(7) the Secretary should form a partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, within the context of the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhancement of Services (CARES) process of the Department, to ensure the appropriate, lawful, and financially prudent management of the Department's historic properties, similar to the partnership formed between the Department of the Army and the Trust.''. (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item: ``117. Historic preservation mission.''. SEC. 103. OFFICE OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION. (a) In General.--Chapter 3 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``Sec. 320. Office of Historic Preservation ``(a) There is in the Department an Office of Historic Preservation within the Office of the Secretary or otherwise at a sufficiently high level within the departmental organization to ensure adequate communication with all relevant divisions within the Department. There shall be at the head of the Office a Director. ``(b) The Director shall administer the Veterans Heritage Preservation Fund established under section 8701 of this title. ``(c) The Director shall develop procedures to ensure that decisions within the Department that affect or may affect historic buildings, properties, and cultural resources of the Department are made in accordance with Department directives and applicable laws and regulations. ``(d) The Director shall ensure that the head of each Department facility that is listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places and the head of each regional office and each major program manager of the Department designates a cultural resource management officer with training in historic preservation and compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act (40 U.S.C. 470 et seq.). ``(e) The Director shall review Department activities, policies, and procedures that might affect historic buildings, properties, and cultural resources, including review of initiatives through the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhancement of Services (CARES) program of the Department. ``(f) The Director shall maintain a comprehensive inventory of the Department's historic buildings, properties, and cultural resources and shall forward to the Secretary of the Interior nominations of such buildings, properties, and cultural resources for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. ``(g) The Director shall assure the Department's compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 470f).''. (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item: ``320. Office of Historic Preservation.''. SEC. 104. VETERANS HERITAGE PRESERVATION. (a) In General.--(1) Part IV of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter: ``CHAPTER 87--HISTORIC PRESERVATION ``Sec. ``8701. Veterans Heritage Preservation Fund. ``8702. Public-private partnerships. ``Sec. 8701. Veterans Heritage Preservation Fund ``(a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish a fund to be known as the `Veterans Heritage Preservation Fund'. The Director of the Office of Historic Preservation, in consultation with the Department's facility directors, shall make recommendations to the Secretary on the use of the assets of the fund. In making such recommendations, the Director shall take into consideration the priority order ranking specified in the report under section 106 of the Veterans National Preservation Heritage Act of 2002. ``(b) Uses of Fund.--The Secretary may use balances in the fund to-- ``(1) evaluate, stabilize, preserve, renovate, and restore historic buildings and properties owned by the Department in conformity with applicable statutory and regulatory standards for historic preservation; ``(2) assist in the maintenance and preservation of the Department's historic artifacts and collections; and ``(3) make grants to State and local governments and non- profit organizations in connection with the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. ``(c) Grant Requirements.--(1) A grant under subsection (b)(3) may be used by the grant recipient for studies, planning, construction, management, marketing, interpretation, promoting cultural tourism, and operations. ``(2) Such a grant may provide funds for not more than 75 percent of a project's cost, with the remainder to be provided as a non-Federal match. ``(3) In selecting recipients for grants under subsection (b)(3), the Secretary may establish a higher priority for proposed projects that would benefit veterans, including homeless veterans, or that would honor the achievements of veterans. ``(d) Income From Rental Property.--Income or proceeds from the rental of historic properties at facilities of the Department, including quarters rented by Department personnel or other persons, shall be credited to, and form a part of, the Fund. In allocating amounts to Department facilities under subsection (b)(1) that are derived from income or proceeds from rental property, the Secretary shall provide funds to those facilities based upon the amount of funds credited under the preceding sentence from properties at those facilities, subject to availability of approved projects for the use of such funds. ``(e) Donations.--The Secretary is authorized to accept donations for the purposes of the Fund. Any such amount shall be credited to, and form a part of, the Fund. ``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the Veterans Heritage Preservation Fund for each fiscal year the amount of $20,000,000.''. ``Sec. 8702. Public-private partnerships ``(a) Cooperative Agreements.--The Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements and leases with State and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the Secretary of the Interior for the purpose of restoring, rehabilitating, maintaining, interpreting, promoting, and marketing historic buildings. ``(b) Donations.--The Secretary may accept donations for the purpose of implementing a partnership under this section. ``(c) Collaboration With Department of the Interior.--The Secretary may collaborate with, and enter into agreements with, the Secretary of the Interior and Interior-related agencies, including units of the National Park Service and Federally-designated national heritage areas, for the purposes of this chapter.''. SEC. 105. ENHANCED-USE LEASES. Section 8162(a) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: ``(5) In light of the statement in section 117(a) of this title that it is a mission and responsibility of the Department to maintain its most significant historic buildings and to preserve them for future generations, historic preservation shall be considered to be a Department mission for the purposes of paragraph (2)(A)(i) and any proposed enhanced-use lease that includes or incorporates preservation and restoration of the building proposed to be leased shall be considered to be a veterans related purpose lease for purpose of priorities for the awarding of leases under this section.''. SEC. 106. PRESERVATION STUDY AND REPORT. (a) Study and Report.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall conduct a study of the historic buildings of the Department of Veterans Affairs and, not later than February 1, 2004, shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the results of that study. (b) Contents of Report.--The report under subsection (a) shall include the following: (1) A detailed inventory of historic buildings and sites under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs, together with a description of the historical significance of each such building or site. (2) Identification of the most important historic buildings and sites named under paragraph (1) and, for each such building or site-- (A) a description of potential threats to the preservation of the building or site; (B) a cost analysis for restoration of the building or site; and (C) a comprehensive structural engineering analysis of the building or site. (3) Ranking of the priority order of such buildings and sites for restoration, taking into consideration historical significance, reuse potential, preservation threat, and organized community support. (4) An action plan for the stabilization and preservation of the buildings and sites identified under paragraph (2) that the Secretary determines to be the most threatened. (c) Consultation.--In preparing the report under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior and with State and local governmental agencies and appropriate local private non-profit organizations in the communities of the historic buildings. (d) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term ``historic building'' means a building listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places. TITLE II--NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK THEME STUDY SEC. 201. AUTHORIZATION OF STUDY. (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation and cooperation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall conduct a National Historic Landmark theme study to identify sites, districts, buildings, structures, and landscapes that best illustrate or commemorate key events at facilities managed by the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the United States Veterans Bureau between 1865 and 1930. (b) Sites To Be Studied.--The sites to be studied under this section are the branches of the former National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and associated entities at the following locations: (1) Togus, Maine. (2) Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (3) Dayton, Ohio. (4) Hampton, Virginia. (5) Leavenworth, Kansas. (6) Santa Monica, California. (7) Marion, Illinois. (8) Danville, Illinois. (9) Johnston City, Tennessee. (10) Hot Springs, South Dakota. (11) Bath, New York. (c) Criteria; Nominations.--In conducting the study under this section, the Secretary of the Interior shall use the criteria set forth in section 65.4 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, to identify, in order of importance or merit, potential National Historic Landmarks at the locations listed in subsection (b). The study shall include a nomination submittal for each potential National Historic Landmark identified under this subsection that meets such criteria. (d) Education and Research.--The study shall-- (1) identify appropriate means to maximize opportunities for public education on the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers; and (2) recommend opportunities for cooperative arrangements with State and local governments, educational institutions, local historical organizations, and other entities to preserve and interpret key cultural resources at or associated with the locations listed in subsection (b). (e) Cooperative Agreements.--The Secretary of the Interior may enter into cooperative agreements with one or more educational institutions, public history organizations, or veterans' organizations knowledgeable about the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to prepare the study under subsection (a) and to ensure that the study meets scholarly standards. (f) Report.--Not later than two years after the date on which funds are made available for the study under subsection (a), the Secretary of the Interior shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Resources and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report containing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the study. <all>