I've spent the last year working on a historic resources survey of the entire municipality. We cataloged more than eighty different structures or sites of historic interest in the community and created inventory forms for each of them, along with original photographs obtained from historical society archives and new photos that we took out in the field. We assembled everything together and created a user-friendly document that also tells the story of the community's history from the time of its founding. We're pretty pleased with how it came out.
Our department will be presenting the finished first draft of the document to the elected officials next week. They authorized the project a year ago, but as we all know, economic fortunes have continued to decline since then and historic preservation isn't exactly a priority at the moment. When I present this to them, how can I pitch the document as being for something more than historic preservation? The document could certainly serve as the basis for future heritage tourism initiatives - for example, a walking tour of downtown historic structures, or creation of historic brochures or other materials. No doubt there are other angles as well. The core issue is that we don't want to squander the department's capital by portraying the project as something frivolous. Any thoughts on how best to do this? Thanks!