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Inclusion in national register would bring tax breaks to some Webb City businesses undergoing renovations

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Efforts are underway to add Webb City's downtown district to the National Register of Historic Places.
For any business, maintaining an older building can take a lot of work.
"We're working on it all the time," said Donald Hoover, employee at Outdoor Addicts in downtown Webb City.
Like many in downtown Webb City, Outdoor Addicts has renovations underway, which means a drain on the pocketbook. 
Hoover says tax breaks on renovation work would greatly help.
"If we had tax breaks on it, we'd be interested in doing a lot more," he said.
Adding Webb City's downtown district to the national register could bring those tax breaks to those working on returning their building to its original splendor.
"Property owners who maybe haven't taken advantage of renovating their buildings yet will be able to do that because the state and the federal government offer tax incentives and tax abatements," said Erin Turner, Webb City Community Development Coordinator.
 
43 of the 50 properties in the district were built between 1883 and 1965, and include a variety of restaurants, shops and movie theater.
"As long as the buildings are renovated with the windows, doors and facade that they had originally, whether it be in the 1800s or the 1900s1800'slong as 1900's
stay within those guidelines and the character of that, they will qualify," Turner said.
Many longtime Webb City residents are hopeful this will preserve the Route 66 town's unique history.
"I don't think our next generation really realizes what these old buildings represent," said Mary Nelson, Webb City resident.  "I think it's very important."
Turner says preserving Main Street will also encourage growth.
"The more people come, the more retail will be in this area, the more restaurants and it will just be a booming place to be," she said.
"People are going to realize that we're here and what's going on here," Hoover said.  "I think it'd help a lot."
"Not only will they draw business people here, but they'll draw a younger generation," Nelson said.  "They'll understand what these buildings mean."
The city of Monnett, MO is also working to inMonettts historical district on the National Register of Historic Places.
The districts will find out if they have been approved sometime in September.
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