RDA is helping with sign grants

January 19, 2019

The Watertown Redevelopment Authority is contributing $20,000 toward façade grants downtown in partnership with the Main Street Program, according to the Historic Preservation and Downtown Design Commission.

Melissa Lampe, executive director of the Main Street Program and member of the commission, said the program is allocating $7,000 for a total of $27,000 for the funds this year.

“Which is by far the largest amount of money they have ever had to spend on façade grants,” Lampe said.

Both the commission and the Main Street Program will be overseeing how the funds will be distributed.

The commission reviewed some revisions to the façade grant program and its applications. Lampe said one significant change is they wanted to be sure that recipients of the façade grant funds “adhere to a schedule to make sure that the money is used in good faith.”

“Sometimes projects don’t come together. We’ve had projects that haven’t happened and façade grant money isn’t use so we want to make sure that recipients understand there’s a schedule that has to be met for the funds and guidelines for project completion.”

Anthony’s 511 is one business the committee discussed in regards to receiving a façade grant. The business was recently named the winner in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s annual Main Street Makeover Contest.

“His project will likely receive façade grant money this year because the local community has to contribute funds to that makeover project,” Lampe said.

Lampe said they will be reaching out to property owners and businesses downtown about the grants for this year.

The commission also discussed talking with the city about installing more security cameras downtown. Lampe said there was some issues with vandalism of Christmas decorations. As of now, the commission has not spoke with the city.

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