By Joe Bachman
City officials approved the consideration of continued downtown improvements on Tuesday night.
During the Finance & Property Committee meeting, members went forward with initial steps in applying for a downtown facade grant. A downtown facade grant program is used to enhance private investment in building improvements that that lead to a better looking downtown.
The city ran a similar facade program three years ago. By definition, such a program looks to upgrade the street facing exteriors for commercial buildings.
“It’s a tried and true method that has been successful in many communities,” said Community Development Director Adam Tegan.
Participants of the grant program can receive up to 50% of eligible expenses not to exceed $20,000. These expenses could improve painting, lighting, windows, tile, signage, awnings, and canopies.
The city will seek help from the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce to submit the grant. Redevelopment opportunities exist in the downtown areas in the areas of 1st St., Jackson St., and W. Grand. While a few buildings were identified as qualifying for facade upgrades, nothing has been cemented as of yet.
This issue will move to common council next Tuesday for final approval to move forward with the grant.