Muskoka To-DAILY

$72,000 in Gravenhurst CIP grants translate into $292,000 in business improvement partnership works

GRAVENHURST — Improved signage, updated façade and landscaping mean “high impact for low cost,” as downtown merchants in Gravenhurst get a facelift thanks to help from a municipal financial makeover.

And it should have the town looking spiffier starting this summer.

Tuesday, town council approved $72,000 in Community Improvement Plan (CIP) grants for downtown property improvements, the town says in a release.

The review committee received 21 applications for projects that were eligible for grants in excess of $100,000.

Town grants of up to 50 per cent of the cost were available for various types of work.

And they recommended funding all their budget to 17 property improvement projects that have an estimated value of more than $292,000.

The grants range from $738 to $11,292. (See attached chart below.)

“The CIP program has continued to be a wonderful program for the past five years,” said Mayor Paisley Donaldson.

“This program not only allows council to promote a consistent and historical theme across the downtown, but allows building owners to work with us to create a beautiful downtown. Council is proud of the commitment to provide direct financial support our property owners.

“This year’s funding could be described as high impact, low cost,” said Jeff Loney, manager of economic development, “We will see a good mix of improved signage, updated façades and landscaping being completed across the downtown.”

The program, which has been in place off and on officially in various forms for more at least two decades, has allowed local property and business owners to apply for financial assistance to improve the physical appearance and the overall vitality of their buildings. While building owners are approved for the grant, they do not receive any funding until the project is completed.

Successful applicants are provided two building seasons to have the work completed and inspected by the Town. Research has shown that the aesthetics of the downtown influence the shopping habits of prospective customers and visitors.

Now completing its fifth year, the latest CIP iteration has been able to facilitate more than $1.3 million in improvement projects. Eligible projects can include structural improvements, such as fire code upgrades, accessibility improvements to façade and signage projects aimed at improving the physical beauty of the buildings.

This year the review committee put an emphasis on creating connections and consistency with the downtown, south end and the Muskoka Wharf.

Copies of the Community Improvement Plan, the Façade and Streetscape guidelines, a map of the CIP area and CIP grant applications are available at the Town of Gravenhurst offices and at www.gravenhurst.ca/cip.

cip chart copy

 

 

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Posted by on May 17 2017. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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