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Facade Improvement Grant Program

2015 Façade Grant Program

Objective

To provide financial incentives to business and property owners, and to assist them in façade preservation and restoration.
Goals: To prevent further deterioration of downtown commercial properties. To restore and preserve properties that are valuable for historical, architectural, and aesthetic reasons. To provide a comfortable and attractive place to shop, work, and be entertained.

Eligibility

Any owner or tenant of a commercial building located within the Special Downtown Tax District may apply. Tenant applicants must submit owner’s written permission with application.

A property may be judged to be eligible for a second façade improvement grant if at least five (5) years have elapsed since the first grant was awarded and the facade is in need of further improvement.
Grant Program Definitions

A façade is an individual storefront or building side which faces a public right of way or is otherwise visible to the general public. For the purpose of this grant program, separate addresses within a single building may qualify as separate façades if one or more of the spaces’ tenants are applying for a grant(s). Project proposals addressing side and rear facades will be considered.

Source of Funds

The Façade Grants are made possible through funds generated by the Special Downtown Tax District appropriations.

Award

Award Decisions may be based upon factors including, but not limited to, size, project cost, and amount of available funds.  At a minimum, qualifying projects are eligible for a grant of up to $1,000 per façade on a 50/50 matching reimbursement basis. Projects that cost less than $10,000 in total facade expenditures by an applicant are eligible for a grant of up to the lesser of $2,500 or ½ the total cost. Projects that exceed $10,000 are eligible for a grant of up to 25% of the total façade project cost not to exceed $5,000. The maximum amount awarded to an applicant per project is not to exceed $5,000 in a 10 year period. Upon approval, grants are awarded on a first-submitted basis until budgeted funds are exhausted or until the fiscal year ends, whichever comes first. Upon approval, grants are awarded on a first-submitted basis until budgeted funds are exhausted or until the fiscal year ends, whichever comes first.

Guidelines

  1. If the applicant is not the property owner, the property owner’s written permission must be attached to the application.
  2. The Design Guidelines for the Clinton Commercial Historic District and Landmarks shall be followed.
  3. Work plans shall respect and reflect the architectural integrity of the entire building and streetscape.
  4. Work shall conform to all applicable ordinances & building codes, including the requirements for a Certificate of Appropriateness within the Historic District.
  5. The Planning Staff reserves the right to withhold approval of grant application if color, design, sign design, or other façade component is not deemed appropriate to the historic integrity of the structure and/or the Downtown as a whole.
  6. Applications will become automatically ineligible if work on the building has begun prior to written approval by Planning Staff.
  7. A detailed itemized project budget with line by line cost breakdowns is required as part of the application. All aspects of the project shall be included.
  8. Projects must begin no later than three months after approval of the grant and completed within six months of the grant approval.
  9. If an application is rejected, the Historic Preservation Commission and/or Planning Staff will give reasons for rejection and what, if any, steps can be taken to receive approval.
  10. All work performed must be in keeping with the rendering and specifications approved by the Historic Preservation Commission, according to the Design Guidelines for the Clinton Commercial Historic District and Landmarks.
  11. The applicant must have satisfied any delinquent taxes prior to filing an application.
  12. Any changes or modifications of the submitted plans must be approved in writing by the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Staff.
  13. By signing on application, Applicant agrees to be bound by the terms and guidelines of this agreement.
  14. List of eligible and ineligible improvements:

ELIGIBLE: Exterior painting and/or paint removal, Exterior cleaning (except sandblasting), Masonry repair and repainting, Repair and replacement of architectural details or materials, Repair/replacement of windows/window framing, Removal of siding and exterior false facades, Removal of inappropriate/out-of-date signage, Rehabilitation of compatible reconstruction of storefront, New awnings or rehabilitation of existing awnings (with exception of personalized awnings), Replacement of transom glass, Removal of inappropriate out-of-date or unsafe signage

INELIGIBLE: Personalized signage, Personalized awnings, Installation of aluminum/vinyl siding or other false facades, Work done prior to grant approval, Sandblasting, Interior rehabilitation, Roof and chimney repairs

Application Process

  1. Applicant meets with Clinton-Sampson Planning Department Staff to review renovation plans.
  2. Applicant completes application, including design plans, sketches, color scheme, photos, etc.
  3. Applicant reviews application with Building Inspector for code compliance if necessary.
  4. Certificate of Appropriateness Application is submitted with all other necessary information (see Guidelines) to the Clinton-Sampson Planning Department office; deadlines are the first (1st) of each month for action that month.
  5. Historic Preservation Commission reviews the applicant’s application at their next meeting (the second (2nd) Monday of each month at 4 pm) for compliance with Design Guidelines for the Clinton Commercial Historic District and Landmarks. The Commission approves, denies, or approves conditionally any COA application.
  6. Based on Historic Preservation Commission decision, Planning Staff approves, denies, or approves conditionally the applicant’s grant application.
  7. Planning Staff notifies applicant of Commission action in writing.
  8. Applicant signs and returns contract.
  9. Applicant may begin work.
  10. Upon completion of work, copies of applicant’s canceled checks and contractor’s paid statements must be sent to the Planning office.
  11. Planning Staff inspect work.
  12. Planning Staff completes necessary paperwork and submits to City Finance Department to request check for award amount.
  13. Check is mailed to applicant at address provided on application.