Preservation Erie and Waterford Borough are working collaboratively to implement a façade improvement grant program to assist property owners in making improvements to building facades in the historic downtown. (Download a PDF of the program guidelines and application.)
In announcing the collaboration approved at its May Borough Council meeting, the borough noted that commercial buildings within the designated downtown boundary, which is High Street from the Fort LeBoeuf Museum to South Park Row, are eligible for these grant funds. Property owners, as well businesses in the downtown, are encouraged to apply for the grants.
A general information session is scheduled for July 25th at 7 pm, and a design/project consultation is scheduled for August 9th 2-4 pm. Both events will take place at the Waterford Borough Building and are free and open to the public.
These façade grants will be made on a 50/50 matching basis. Preservation Erie will provide up to 50% of the project cost as a grant with the remaining 50% of the cost being the property/business owner’s responsibility. The maximum grant awarded will be $2,000, but applicants may request as little as $200.
The deadline for applicants to apply is August 31, 2018.
Preservation Erie emphasizes that priority will be given to projects utilizing proper preservation techniques and materials. An example would be the repair rather than the replacement of historic windows. Among the other categories of work eligible for grants are mortar re-pointing, gutter replacement, repainting of exterior elements, chimney repair and flashing, and cornice repair.
Preservation Erie was awarded $15,000 from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority for the program.
The economic vitality of Waterford is dependent upon a vibrant and well-maintained downtown. The purpose of the program is to stimulate private investment in the downtown and create a compelling place for businesses to exist and residents and visitors to spend time.