Improvement grant program now accepting applications

Feb 22, 2024 at 11:54 am by Observer-Review

building façade improvement program
The Schuyler County Legislature, in partnership with Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, is now accepting applications for the final round of the Downtown and Business American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Program, aimed at downtown revitalization with a match grant program to assist with building façade improvements. This program has already invested $280,000 in matching grants for building owners for façade improvements to commercial and mixed-use properties in Schuyler County.
This downtown improvement program was established by the Schuyler County Legislature in January 2022 and funded by ARPA. The purpose of the program is to support small businesses and existing building owners in improving the environment within our downtown communities.
Properties located within one-half mile of the business district of Watkins Glen, Odessa, Montour Falls, and Burdett are eligible to apply. Applicants can apply for a minimum of $5,000 up to $25,000 for their project improvements (total improvement costs of $10,000 - $50,000). Eligible properties include existing commercial or mixed-use buildings and exclude single, two-family, and multi-family homes. Applicants must show the ability to fund the project, as this is a reimbursement program and funds will not be disbursed until the project has been completed with all documentation provided as explained in the guidelines.
While the initial allocation provided by funds received through ARPA is nearly extinguished, the success of this program has prompted conversations about continuing this grant program with a few changes. Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature, Carl Blowers remarked, “This program has been hugely successful and all of the legislators can see the impact this funding has had in the communities of Odessa, Montour Falls, Burdett, and Watkins Glen. As we work to develop the next phase of this program, we will seek to expand the boundaries and broaden the scope to allow even more of an impact across Schuyler County.”
Kerri Green, senior economic and community development specialist at the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) administers the program and noted, “The twelve property owners who have completed their improvement projects represent a total private investment of $850,000, offset by $190,000 of distributed grant awards. The data supports the success of this program by improving the look of our downtown buildings as well as providing an economic benefit to the community and property owners who continue to invest in their communities. All of us at SCOPED are looking forward to working with our partners at the legislature to grow and expand this program in the future.”
Applications are due March 1, 2024.
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