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Batavia downtown grants may see changes

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Aldermen on the Batavia City Council Community Development Committee on Tuesday said they want to continue with the city’s facade grant program and the downtown improvement grant program with some changes.

Batavia Assistant City Administrator Jason Bajor told aldermen the programs are essential to the downtown’s vitality. He said the businesses that have been helped by the programs “are creating reasons for people to come to the downtown.”

Aldermen had voiced concerns about the programs. Bajor said he has had to tell applicants the programs are on “stand-by” until the City Council moves forward.

Staff has recommended changes to the two programs. With the facade grant program, staff has recommended maintaining the 50/50 match provision between property/business owner and the city and maintaining the minimum project budget of $1,000, but raising the maximum project budget amount from $10,000 to $20,000.

Staff also has recommended that the 50/50 match provision to be maintained in the downtown improvement grant program, but has suggested reducing the minimum project budget from $2,500 to $1,000 and reduce the maximum project budget amount from $50,000 to $20,000.

An applicant still can request funding under both grant programs within a single project as long as the improvements meet the applicable grant criteria. City staff will meet with representatives from the Batavia MainStreet program and the Batavia Chamber of Commerce about the proposed changes.

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