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PR: Complementing Ongoing Revitalization Initiatives, Waterville’s Downtown Façade and Building Improvement Grant Program Opens for Third Funding Cycle

July 16, 2021

Waterville, ME 7/16/21 – Central Maine Growth Council’s (CMGC) Façade and Building Improvement Grant Program (FBIGP) has opened to eligible downtown business and property owners for a third funding cycle. Since the program’s 2019 inception, the grant initiative has distributed funding for a variety of exterior improvements such as window replacement, painting, lighting, awnings or canopies, and signage.

“By helping our residents and business owners improve their storefronts, we’re working together to welcome visitors and customers back downtown so they can shop locally and support the economy,” articulates Joy McKenna, member of the FBIGP advisory committee. “This funding will drive direct investment while ensuring that we take care of our greatest assets in the process as the city proceeds with several major downtown projects.”

Waterville’s facade program has continued to incentivize investment and bolster the visual aesthetics of downtown storefronts, restoring the original character of the historic exteriors and encouraging other eligible parties to elevate the visual appearance of their buildings and businesses. CMGC has deployed 21 grants since the program’s launch in 2019, supporting more than $2.1 million in direct investment in less than three years.

“The program will again this year provide direct funding into the downtown and continue to ensure Waterville’s unique history, beauty, and sense of place are retained through investments to historical architecture, storefronts, urban aesthetics, signage, and streetscaping enhancements,” states Garvan D. Donegan, CMGC’s director of planning, innovation, and economic development. “Complementing Waterville’s revitalization during a time of ongoing and fast-paced downtown construction, this year’s facade program also includes increased prioritization of projects such as outdoor seating and streetscaping amenities that will provide downtown businesses and property owners with the support they need to drive sales and contribute to the city’s growing economic vitality.”

Workshop details, program guidance, and application materials can be found at www.centralmaine.org/facade. Grant applications will be due on Thursday, August 5th by 5:00pm, and awarded projects are expected to be announced on Thursday, August 12th. Awarded projects are to be completed by December 1, 2021. The grant program, funded by Colby College and the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation for a total of $60,000 in funding for the 2021 grant cycle, provides a reimbursement of up to fifty (50) percent of the total estimated project budget. Interested applicants are encouraged to review FBIGP program materials online (www.centralmaine.org/facade) and are required to attend the upcoming virtual workshop on Thursday, July 22 from 2:00pm to 3:30 pm. For additional details, CMGC may be reached at (207) 680-7300 or at director@centralmaine.org.

About Central Maine Growth Council:

Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC), located in Waterville, Maine, is a public-private collaborative regional economic development partnership funded by municipalities and businesses who share a common vision of economic prosperity for our region. CMGC is committed to fostering a robust regional economy. Our belief is that the standard of living and quality of life of our citizens is best served by a vibrant, healthy economy. This is accomplished with a strong successful business community.

Last modified: July 16, 2021

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