PREBLE COUNTY — The Board of Preble County Commissioners was awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $300,000 for the Program Year 2016 CDBG Competitive Downtown Revitalization program for the Village of Lewisburg’s downtown business district.
The Downtown Revitalization program is designed to assist the rehabilitation of downtown business districts through activities like facade and sign improvements, and correction of interior and exterior building code items to business structures in the downtown district; installation of streetscape items; and rehabilitation of the downtown infrastructure of streets, sidewalks, storm drainage, etc.
This is the first Downtown Revitalization grant awarded to Preble County. It is one of only seven such grants awarded throughout the state for Program Year 2016.
The grant application to the state was a collaborative effort of the Preble County Commission’s staff, the Village of Lewisburg, and the Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce. The Commission Office staff prepared the application, using information requested and provided by the village. As part of the grant requirements, Lewisburg designated the Downtown Business District as a half block area on both sides of Commerce Street (Ohio 503) from Market Street north three blocks to North Water Street. The Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce and the village, working together, met with the local business owners to make the owners aware of the grant program and get the owners’ support.
The grant will be used to help repair buildings, develop a downtown green space, install benches, planters and decorative street lights, and replace deteriorated sidewalks, storm sewer, and fire hydrants in the Lewisburg Downtown Business District. The grant will be used to provide 50 percent of the building rehabilitation cost with the business owner providing 20 percent and the village providing the remaining 30 percent of the cost.
The grant will also be used to purchase streetscape items and help with the cost of the infrastructure improvements.
Currently, the commission staff and the village are working together on the implementation of grant, preparing the necessary documents for the administration of the grant, meeting with and accepting applications from business owners, and working on the infrastructure components.