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Historic site on 'turkey list' receives big bucks for restoration

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Updated: 1/02 9:48 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A local restoration project on Florida Tax Watch's 'turkey list' is about to get a big payout from the state.

The gift shop has already received a $50,000 grant and now the main Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is getting $300,000 for restoration from the state of Florida.

The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum has severe water damage on the walls, cracked doorways and more. Susan Caven says the structure built in 1798 is in desperate need of repair.

"This grant has been such a godsend to us because this museum is deteriorating because of this," said Caven.

Kurt Wenner with Florida Tax Watch disagrees and put the historic property on their ‘turkey list,’ claiming  it was added into the proposed projects up for state grants last minute and won a grant without going through the application process.

"They're probably good projects, but wouldn't have gotten funded in this upcoming year and the ones that went through the process the previous year should have been addressed first," said Wenner.

Caven says the Ximenez Fatio is living history whose walls are literally crumbling; the grant will restore it and also have a positive affect on St. Augustine tourism. The money will be used to restore several second-story rooms and fireplaces.

Florida Tax Watch says they think the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is deserving of grant money, but only if they go through the full application process.

For the past 200 years the House Museum has been a female-run business. The group pushing for restoration is the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Florida.

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