Albion, Sawdust City Brewing among latest to get business improvement grants
GRAVENHURST — Guy Gagnon, new owner of the Albion Hotel and the new owners of Sawdust City Brewing, lead a list of five dowtown businesses that will get help from the town with building improvements.
Town council approved a second round of Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Grants for Downtown property improvements.
Through the 2014 budget, council approved a $25,000 allocation to fund the grant opportunities proposed in the CIP, says the town in a news release Monday.
Part of the grant agreement between the town and participating property owners establishes an 18-month deadline for the completion of the improvement project, so visible enhancements to the Downtown will be noticed in the very near future.
Applications from the owners of Albion Hotel, Muskoka Carpet & Drapery Centre, Sawdust City Brewing, Scuba Shack and South Muskoka Dental have been approved to receive financial incentives to complete work on their respective properties.
The research undertaken by the Downtown Revitalization Committee has identified that improving the visual appeal of the Downtown is an important factor in the future success of the area for business owners, residents and visitors.
“These CIP grants are a great example of the type of partnership between the town and downtown property owners that is vital for the beautification of our community’s core area,” aid Daniel Kerr, downtown revitalization coordinator.
“The public and private sectors share many of the same concerns about the Downtown streetscape, so it makes sense to share in the solutions.”
The CIP provides a wide range of incentive opportunities for downtown property owners for assistance with the hard costs of planning and design studies, façade improvement, building or fire code upgrades, heritage restoration, residential conversion, landscaping and signage improvement. Participants in the Community Improvement Program may also qualify for relief incentives on property taxes, development charges, planning permits and building permit fees.
“The intent of the CIP is to promote positive change throughout the CIP area in a coordinated manner,” said Kerr.
“As part of the Downtown Revitalization Program that the town initiated in 2012, both the CIP and associated „Streetscape and Façade Design Guidelines‟were developed, and form a large part of allowing a municipality to assist in downtown revitalization,” said Scott Lucas, Director of Development Services.
Copies of the Community Improvement Plan, a map of the lands affected by the CIP, and applications for CIP grants are available at the Town of Gravenhurst office and on its website www.gravenhurst.ca.
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