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Preservation Fund Doles $650k For Local Mission’s Seismic Retrofit

California Senator Barbara Boxer visited the San Luis Rey Mission in San Diego North County today. She announced a federal grant to kick off fundraising for earthquake retrofitting the historic Mission buildings. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

A 2004 bill to earmark $10 million to retrofit California's Missions was blocked by a lawsuit opposed to spending public money on religious institutions.

But Senator Boxer says the Missions are historic landmarks, visited by 6 million people every year. She announced $650,000 from the Senate's historic preservation fund to start planning the retrofit for the Mission San Luis Rey.

Boxer : These 21 missions are integral to out state's identity and we need to keep these missions alive, and we need to protect these missions from disrepair and damage.     

San Luis Rey is the largest of California's Missions. Its master plan for seismic retrofits and upgrades to the buildings has a price tag of $10 million.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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