RDA asked to explore infrastructure, facade options | News, Sports, Jobs

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The City of Warren Redevelopment Authority has been approached to explore a business grant program that would go far beyond facades.

Planning Commission chairwoman Angie Dart made the speech at a meeting on Wednesday.

Dart detailed that surveys conducted as part of the overall planning process revealed some priorities.

“And what is important for the community is the city center”, she says; “Small businesses, to support them as best we can.”

The RDA currently operates a program limited to $5,000 for facade repairs. An initial allocation of $50,000 has been fully utilized.

The program proposed by Dart would be “to be an excellent avenue to explore” and pushes the cap for a candidate up to $60,000.

She said the funding could be used for infrastructure work on the rest of a building rather than the facade.

“(He) takes this front grant and takes it to the next level,” she explained, noting that there are state and federal funding sources that could be used to fund the program.

Dart called it a “A great opportunity to support our small businesses and make Warren a better place. “The current frontage grant simply does not cover that.

RDA President Michael Boyd said it was an offer that should be considered.

City Manager Nancy Freenock also offered to apply for a grant through a state Department of Community and Economic Development that could be allocated for commercial frontage work similar to the existing program.

She asked for a motion in support of the grant application. The City Council will make the final decision on whether to apply.

Randy Rossey, the city’s code and planning director, said the funding could lead to a “new trick” for the existing program.

Freenock asked any companies that might be interested in participating in the dollar-for-dollar fronting grant program to contact Rossey.



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