Bill Expanding Acquisition Ability Passes Senate, Sent To House Of Representatives

Senate Bill 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, was passed by the U.S. Senate on a 92-8 vote on February 12.

Among other things, the bill would amend the wording of 2018 legislation on what type of properties the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (NPS) can acquire for establishment of the Sainte Genevieve National Historical Park.

Original legislation limited acquisitions to historic buildings, but the bill would allow NPS to purchase non-historic buildings, paving the way for the acquisition of a building such as the Centre for French Colonial Life at 198 Market St. to be part of the park complex.

An amendment to the bill authored by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri changed the wording of the current law from “any nationally significant property identified in the special resource study within” the historic district and inserting “any property within.”

The resources study is the report released by the NPS that recommended the establishment of a national historical park to preserve the French colonial culture and structures in Ste. Genevieve.

The original park recommendation centered around properties on St. Mary’s Road such as the Beauvais-Amoureux House and the Bequette-Ribault House, as well as the Kern-Delassus House on Highway 61 south of the city of Ste. Genevieve.

But last month, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Missouri offered to donate five historic properites and sell its Centre for French Colonial Life to the NPS.

The bill was received in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 13.

Also, Blunt’s office on Friday summarized the highlights of the government funding bill signed into law that day to avoid a government shutdown.

“The measure provides dedicated funding to new units in the National Park System, including the Ste. Genevieve National Historic Park that will be established later this year,” the release from Blunt’s office stated.

Text of the legislation was not yet available on the federal government’s website.

(Information from congress.gov, the website of the federal government’s legislative branch, and a release from U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s office.)

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