Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dade City agency offers painting grants to business owners in downtown district

DADE CITY — Get your paintbrushes ready.

As a boost for downtown business owners, the city's Community Redevelopment Agency is offering a grant for qualifying exterior painting projects.

The grant will pay 100 percent of the bill, up to $2,500 of the painting costs for a single-story building or $7,500 for a multi-story structure. It is available only to business owners within the city's CRA district, which covers much of downtown.

"We really just wanted to give a boost to the town," said Crystal Davenport, executive director of Downtown Dade City Main Street, which is administering the grant. "It's kind of like our own individual economic stimulus plan."

A CRA grant covering 100 percent of a property improvement is a rarity. Most CRAs in the county require the recipient to pay for at least some of the project cost.

New Port Richey offers a 100 percent grant of up to $5,000 to remove certain blighted structures in its redevelopment district. Port Richey provides matching funds of up to $2,500 for a single-unit building or $7,500 for a multiple-unit building to improve a commercial building's exterior.

But Dade City's offer doesn't stand for long. The program is called the Window of Opportunity Grant, and the deadline to apply is Sept. 18. All projects must be completed within three months of approval.

The idea came after members of the Design Review Committee, an advisory group, walked through town and took notes on needed improvements.

"At the end of the day, we went back to see what the largest need was, and it was paint," Davenport said.

In Dade City, the City Commission sits as the CRA's board of directors. The group's budget was about $740,000 in the 2008-09 fiscal year. The money is not part of the city's general fund.

For several years now, the CRA has offered another program that pays 75 percent of an exterior improvement project, up to $7,500. But applications have recently dropped.

Officials blame the economy. Business owners have to first pay for the project. After reimbursement, they were still responsible for the remaining 25 percent of the cost.

"It's quite ironic and painful that when people need the help the most is when they can afford it the least," said Karen Traenkner, the city's CRA director.

Downtown property owner David Hevia took advantage of the 75 percent match grant in the early 2000s to fix a staircase at his business, Kiefer Village Jewels. Several years later, he was able to replace the building's overhang thanks in part to the grant.

The grant is available for renewal every three years. Hevia was going to use it again for a painting project, but held off because of the 25 percent match.

He said the CRA's Window of Opportunity grant will be a great help to business owners who, like him, have seen a drop in shoppers because of the economy.

"They're making the right move at the right time," Hevia said.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis @sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Fast Facts

Limited time only

For more about the Window of Opportunity grant and application process, call Downtown Dade City Main Street at (352) 567-0284.

Dade City agency offers painting grants to business owners in downtown district 08/30/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 30, 2009 5:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wins record in reach for Phil Hayford after nearly four decades of coaching

    Footballpreps

    ST. PETERSBURG — Phil Hayford always wanted to be a football coach.

    Keswick Christian football coach Phil Hayford in the huddle during practice at the school in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2017. Hayford is one win shy of tying the Pinellas County record for overall wins. Hayford, 70, has an overall record of 194-143, which includes 33 years at Shorecrest and two at Keswick.
  2. Rick and Tom podcast: Big sigh of relief for the Bucs

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on Jameis Winston's throwing shoulder as x-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day with a chance to play this weekend in Buffalo. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws incomplete under pressure during Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Drug czar nominee Marino withdraws name amid report he weakened DEA

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the Pennsylvania congressman he chose to be the nation's drug czar is withdrawing from consideration for the job.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., left, sponsored the law that weakened the DEA's enforcement abilities. Seen with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015, Marino is nominated to be the nation's drug czar. [Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg]
  4. Photo of the Day for October 17, 2017 - Urban possums

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Roger Kimble of Tampa, FL.

  5. Exposé 'Champions Way' uses FSU to illustrate bad behavior in college programs

    College

    While the entire college football universe was focused on a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston during Florida State's 2013 national title run, another off-field scandal was playing out quietly.

     Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the game between Florida State Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.