The first HDBA member meeting of 2018 was held January 18th at La Chatelaine. A lot of business owners turned out to hear Donna Goss, Development Director of the City of Dublin, talk about the city’s upcoming Façade Improvement Grant Program for the Historic District.

This new program is a direct result of discussions between the city and the HDBA Board of Directors for the past year or so, and was aided by responses to the “beautification survey” sent to HDBA members last April.

Following a few words of introduction by HDBA President Rick Gerber, Donna spent nearly an hour describing the program and answering questions from HDBA members. Here are the highlights:

The “Façade Improvement Grant Program” has been under development since last Spring, and will be opened up for applications in a few months.  The program is designed to give financial help to property owners to help enhance and maintain the character of historic buildings and grounds.

The program will reimburse property owners 50% of the cost of eligible projects, up to $7,500 per project. In other words, if you have a $15,000 project, the program will pay up to half your costs.

Donna said money for the program will come from the city’s General Fund, which means it’s not dependent on bed tax dollars or other variable funding sources.  For 2018 the city will make $50,000 available to the program, with hopes to increase the funding in the future.

While details are still being worked out, Donna said she expects that the list of eligible projects will include window and door repair and replacement; storefront restoration; lighting improvements; parking improvements; uncovering historical elements; and a few others. No interior work is eligible.

The application process will require owners to prepare detailed documentation of their project and receive approval from the Architectural Review Board. Once approved, projects must begin within 60 days and must be completed within 120 days. Matching funds will be dispersed once the work is complete and all program requirements are met.

In February, Donna expects to release marketing materials and post a web page about the program. Sometime in March, the city will contact property and business owners to educate them about the program, and in March or April the city will begin accepting applications.

The submission deadline will be early June, and City Council will approve the list of grant awards in July.  Donna expects that the process and timeline will be tweaked as the years go along.

We’re very excited about the city’s commitment to helping maintain the character of the Historic District, and will keep you updated on the program as more details are released.  Comments or questions? Head over to the HDBA Facebook page – we’d love to hear from you.