(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved the guidelines for downtown revitalization grants. The grants will all be approved by the new Downtown Redevelopment Committee, which met last month for the first time and reviewed the grant guidelines and application forms. The grants had most recently been approved by the Community Development Committee. The grant application forms did not change much, except to add the name of the new committee. There were amendments approved on the council floor. In addition, a program summary was added to the Building Improvement Grant, increasing the form from two pages to three pages.
The Building Improvement Grant is a matching grant that awards up to $20-thousand dollars with the intention of (quote) “significantly” effecting attractiveness and marketability of the property. Qualifying improvements include restoring or replacing historical façades and replacing existing façade with more appropriate and attractive designs and materials.
The city also offers a New Downtown Business Recruitment Grant to incentivize new businesses to locate downtown and improve the property. The maximum award is $5000. That grant has a one-page application with five additional pages of guidelines and eligibility criteria.
The city council had to approve the guidelines before any grants can be awarded. At last word there were ten pending applications.
The money for the grants comes from revenue generated as part of a Tax Increment Finance District and must be used downtown. The new Downtown Redevelopment Committee is the only entity that approves the grants. The new committee also continues the work of the Landmark Commission in regulating exterior building aesthetics.