The city is making one last push for applications that will allow it to submit a Small Cities Development Grant request that could bring considerable funding to small businesses, rental and homeowners looking to make property renovations.
According to Granite Falls Chamber of Commerce Director Nicole and EDA Director Dennis Van Hoof, who have worked in collaboration on the grant proposal, the city needs 28 single family owner-occupied or commercial applications by Thursday, October 25 if it is going to be able to meet the grant application deadline.
"We've received 40 rental rehab and 16 commercial applications, which has far exceeded what we hoped for," said Zempel. "The response for housing applications hasn't been as strong, but if we are able meet our application target and are awarded the grant, it could be a major boost for the city."
Commercial redevelopment forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office (564-4039), while renter and single family rehab forms can be picked up at the EDA office in the City Hall (564-2255). All are still being accepted. Questionnaires are short and are only meant to gauge community enthusiasm. They do not lock property owners into the program.
"A signature on the form simply states interest," said Zempel. "If awarded the grant, those who have filled out applications will be pushed to the top of the list of those selected to take part in the program."
The city was last awarded small cities development grant funding for owner and renter single family rehabilitation in 2009. That program ended in November 2011 with nine single family homes renovated and eight renter occupied apartments renovated.
If funded, those single family owner-occupied units that meet income requirements and take part in the program would be responsible for 25 percent of the cost of improvements, while 75 percent of project costs (up to $18,750) would be covered in a deferred/forgivable loan in which 1/7 is forgiven each year over a seven year period. Expenses in excess of the aforementioned maximum would be the responsibility of homeowners or businesses.
"This program provides an excellent opportunity for home or business improvements at a lower cost now than at times in the past. If you have received a questionnaire, take the time to fill it out and drop it off at one of the places that are identified in the questionnaire - that is the only way to determine if you are eligible.