Landmark Commission Approves Grant Funding For New Downtown Wine Bar

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Landmark Commission on Wednesday approved a grant application for façade improvements at a new downtown business. Riverfront Wine Bar and Gifts is opening at 227 Front Street. The establishment will receive around $3650, which is half the costs for painting, lighting and new awnings.

The matching grant is available to property owners in the downtown revitalization district and is intended to beautify the area through a partnership with public and private dollars. Businesses on the 100 and 200 blocks of Front Street could receive up to a 50-percent match for projects with a maximum price tag of $10-thousand dollars. The city allocated $100-thousand dollars for façade grants as part of this year’s borrowing plan.

The commission Wednesday also tabled a request for façade grant funding for the Ooga Brewing Company at 301 South Spring Street. Guidelines for approval indicate that a business that has already received grant funds cannot be eligible for façade grant dollars. The planned brewery received a grant for $126-thousand dollars this spring from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Commission officials are seeking clarification on the guidelines because it is believed that the rule only applies to receiving two grants from the city and not outside grant funding.

Ooga is seeking $5000, the maximum amount allowed by city ordinance, for windows, awnings and EFIS, also known as an exterior insulation finishing system, which is a decorative foam-like façade. That grant is expected to be considered after city attorney forms a legal opinion and the Community Development Committee makes a final determination.