The Building Improvement Grant program has a goal of improving the appearance of downtown New London.
In addition, the program strives to improve the front and rear facades and building conditions of existing businesses along North Water Street and Pearl Street in downtown New London. It also strives to improve the quality of life in the New London area and encourage development and maintenance of the buildings on North Water Street and Pearl Street.
Kent Hager, city administrator for New London, said the program was started around five years ago. At that time the program was limited to funding for improvements to riverfront facades of business buildings between the bridges downtown.
“It worked out pretty well on the river side and the city council said let’s see if we can spur some additional improvements for downtown,” Hager said.
The program now encompasses exterior building improvements for property owners lying on either the north side and south side of North Water Street between McKinley Street on the west going east to the County line. Businesses on both the east side and west side of Pearl Street are eligible from Waupaca Street on the north to Beacon Avenue on the south. The program is also available to tenants of those buildings given the property owners written consent.
Eligible participants can receive up to $2,000 in matching grant funds. The city will reimburse property owners for up to 50 percent of the expenses, up to a maximum of $2,000. The program runs continuously, but it is a first-come-first-serve until the funds are gone. As of April, there was approximately $25,000 available in the fund.
Applicants are eligible for only one grant award within a five year time frame unless otherwise approved by the city of New London.
Improvements that fall under the program include: exterior fa?ade renovations, signage, awnings, code enforcement, structural exterior repair, exterior building infrastructure, exterior lighting and leasehold improvements.
Completed applications are reviewed by Hager for approval.