More funds available for facade improvements

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There is more money available for signage and lighting through a newish township program that incentivizes façade improvements for businesses. 

Clearview has received $50,000 in provincial grant money that can be doled out through community improvement plans for main street businesses.

Clearview’s community improvement plan (CIP), implemented last year, funded half of the cost to certain work up to $5,000. On May 28, council agreed to use the grant money to increase the funding to 80 per cent up to $10,000 for high quality signage and associated lighting that meet the existing guidelines. 

The other eligible façade improvements, such as doors and windows, awnings, and some architectural features, are still funded 50/50.

Clearview’s director of community services, Mara Burton, said 20 applications were received in the program’s first year and nine were approved. She said with the cost of quality signs, even at 50 per cent funding, the program may be cost prohibitive to some business owners and tenants. 

“An awning and lettering can cost $6,000 to $8,000, plus gooseneck lighting can be another $3,000. Therefore, business owners need to come up with some $5,000 to take advantage of the program. If funding were increased to 80 per cent for these items, business owners could cover signage and associated lighting worth $10,000 for a $2,000 investment,” reported Burton.

The CIP was also amended to include opportunities for accessibility into commercial establishments, should council earmark funding for this initiative sometime in the future.

Application deadline is July 21. Guidelines can be found at clearview.ca.

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