Investing in Our Communities

Lewis County’s downtown districts and public spaces hold central importance for community gatherings, special events, and the success of small businesses. The Façade & Streetscape Improvement Program aims to revitalize the historic character and attractiveness of villages and hamlets in Lewis County through public and private investment. To encourage and advance revitalization efforts, this program will provide 75/25 matching funds for eligible improvements to mixed-use and commercial buildings and streetscape enhancements in Lewis County’s villages and hamlets. Together, these improvements will help business growth and retention, enhance tourism, increase spending in the local economy, and reduce the number of blighted and vacant properties.

The program will provide up to 75% in funding for eligible projects with a 25% match requirement.

Façade Improvement

Project Eligibility:

  • Property owners and businesses with mixed-use and commercial buildings located in a downtown area of a hamlet or village
  • Aligns with local zoning regulations and/or design standards (if applicable)

Project Type:

Some eligible project types include the following:

  • Awnings & canopies
  • Interior display & exterior lighting
  • Repair or replacement of façade windows, doors, and paint
  • Window boxes and permanent planters
  • Entryway improvements
  • Signage: wall, perpendicular, free-standing signs
  • Awning and window lettering

Ineligible expenses: Engineering and/or design costs associated with project.

Streetscape

Project Eligibility:

  • Open to municipal governments
  • Improves walkability and/or community aesthetics in a village or hamlet
  • Publicly accessible

Project Type:

Some eligible project types include the following

  • Permanent public art (murals, sculptures, etc.)
  • Gateway & wayfinding signage
  • Street furniture
  • Public fixtures (kiosks, plaques, etc.)
  • Street trees and permanent landscaping
  • Bike racks and similar active transportation infrastructure

Ineligible expenses: Engineering and/or design costs associated with project.

Project Selection & Oversight

  • This is a competitive funding application.
  • A review committee with representation from the Department of Planning and Community Development, Naturally Lewis, County Manager, Lewis County Historical Society, and the Board of Legislators will lead project selection. Municipal Zoning Enforcement Officers will participate in the project review process to ensure compliance with local zoning regulations.
  • Projects that are not selected for any given funding round will receive feedback on how to improve their proposal for a future application.
  • The Department of Planning and Community Development and Naturally Lewis will lead day-to-day oversight of project implementation and will provide the County Manager with monthly summaries to present to the Finance and Rules Committee.

If project funding is awarded, the final scope of work must be approved by the committee. Expenses incurred prior to the final scope approval will not be eligible for reimbursement. Depending on the project, a building and/or land use permit may be required. If the project includes signage, the awardee will need to apply for a permit, if applicable. Permits are not required to submit the application; however, they must be in place before any work can begin.

Timeline

The Façade and Streetscape Improvement Program will have two funding cycles to help capture new businesses in a timely fashion and provide more opportunities for participation. Recipients will have twelve months after award notice to complete a project barring exceptional
circumstances. Funds will be limited to one project per applicant for the entirety of this program and funding will be distributed as a reimbursement once a project is complete.

Round 1

  • Funding Open:
    August 18, 2021
  • Application Due Date:
    November 5, 2021
  • Committee Review:
    November 19, 2021
  • Award Notifications:
    December 1, 2021

Round 2

  • Funding Open:
    September 2, 2022
  • Application Due Date: 
    November 4, 2022
  • Committee Review:
    November 18, 2022
  • Award Notifications:
    December 2, 2022

Project Compliance and Completion Requirements

Projects must be completed within twelve months of the award notice to complete a project barring exceptional circumstances. Monthly update forms must be completed and sent to the Lewis County Planning and Community Development Department on the last Friday of each month.

Temporary and permanent signage acknowledging the participation in the Lewis County Façade and Streetscape Improvement Program will be supplied and required to be displayed at the project sites during the project and upon its completion.

Funds will not be distributed until verification of work has been completed and that all vendors have been paid in full. Upon project completion, proof of payment to the contractor/vendor is required in the form of an invoice and cancelled check or credit card statement. Cash payments are not acceptable and will not be reimbursed. Personal labor by the business or property owner and sales tax are not reimbursable expenses. Only expenses detailed in the approved scope of work will be eligible for reimbursement and to meet the 25% match requirement.

Application Form

Applicant Information

Applicant Name*
Preferred Mailing Address*
Preferred Email Address*
Preferred Phone Number*
Applicant Is:*
Building Owner
Business Tenant
Village/Town
Other
Explain
Location of Proposed Project*
Business (If Applicable)
Municipality (Streetscape Program)

Project Information

Proposed project includes (check all that apply):
Façade: Cleaning and/or repointing of bricks
Façade: Repair or replacement of windows
Façade: Repair or replacement of doors
Façade: Entryway improvements
Façade: Painting
Façade: Awnings or canopy
Exterior lighting: architectural lighting
Exterior lighting: pathway lighting
Interior lighting: display lighting
Signage: wall sign
Signage: perpendicular sign
Signage: awning lettering
Signage: window lettering
Signage: free standing sign/ A-frame sign
Public Art: Mural
Public Art: Sculpture
Streetscape: Gateway and/or wayfinding signage
Streetscape: benches
Streetscape: trash cans
Streetscape: planters
Streetscape: informational kiosk
Streetscape: banners
Streetscape: bike racks or similar active
Transportation infrastructure
Streetscape: street trees and/or permanent landscaping
Other
Explain

Project Description

Please detail the current condition of the following as applicable to the project:

Building*
Signage*
Site*
Proposed Scope of Work*
Anticipated Impact of the Project*How will this improve the downtown area?
Photos are encouraged to illustrate current condition.
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Cost Estimates

The Façade Program requires two cost estimates to be submitted for all work to be completed. Please list all work to be completed in the table below, indicate a total of each estimate. The lowest estimate should be used to compile your total project cost and grant request.

Work to be completed
Estimate #1
Estimate #2
Lowest Estimate
Work to be completed
Estimate #1
Estimate #2
Lowest Estimate
Work to be completed
Estimate #1
Estimate #2
Lowest Estimate
Work to be completed
Estimate #1
Estimate #2
Lowest Estimate
Work to be completed
Estimate #1
Estimate #2
Lowest Estimate
Total Estimates Project CostTotal of Lowest Estimates
Grant Request75% of Total Project Cost
Applicant's Matching FundsProject Cost Minus Grant Request

Applicant Eligibility

Are you a property owner and/or business with mixed-use or commercial buildings located in a hamlet or village in Lewis County?*
Yes
No
Unsure

Please contact Megan Krokowski prior to applying.

Are your Village, County, Town and School taxes current?*
Yes
No
Unsure
Please Explain
Have you contacted your Village to inquire about required building permits and/ or signage permits?*
Yes
No
Unsure

Please contact Megan Krokowski prior to applying.

Application Attachments

The following items may be required to accompany your application. Please contact Megan Krokowski before applying to confirm which items apply to your project:

  • Two cost estimates for all work to be completed or items to be purchased. Estimates submitted should match the information listed above in the cost estimates table.
  • Current Photograph(s) showing existing condition of project building or project site.
  • Annotated photograph(s) of project building or site identifying location(s) of improvements to be made.
  • Images/ specs of items to be purchased:
    • For façade projects, this may be an architect’s rendering of the work to be completed including paint colors, doors, widows and/or awning selections.
    • For lighting projects, this may be online or catalog images of the fixtures and specs for the bulbs.
    • For signage projects, this may be a sign maker’s rendering including dimensions of signage, location of signage, materials, colors, and description of mounting hardware and brackets.
    • For public art projects, this may be a rendering of the work to be completed, or if not yet designed, the résumé of the artist and samples of past work.
    • For streetscape projects, this may be online or catalog images of items to be purchased.
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Certification

Please read and check the following statements, indicating that you understand and agree to each:*
I am eighteen years of age or older.
I have read the program guidelines and application, understand its contents, and agree to comply with program requirements.
I hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided in this application is true and correct. I understand that any willful misstatement of material fact will be grounds for disqualification. Lewis County is hereby authorized to verify any of the above information in any appropriate matter, and to inspect the property prior to grant approval and following work completion.
I understand that any contract for improvements to be paid for, in part, by the Program shall be between the contractor and myself, and that I should not sign any contract for work under this program until authorized to do so in writing. I understand that the grant payment is subject to satisfactory completion of the approved work.
I also understand that Lewis County is not responsible or liable for any breach of contract, faulty workmanship, accident, liability, or damage, which might arise from (my/our) relationship with the contractor.
I hereby grant Lewis County and the Lewis County IDA the unrestricted right to use, for any lawful purpose, photographs taken of the property listing herein, which I own and/or for which I have the authority to grant such permission, and to use my name in connection therewith if it so chooses. I release and discharge Lewis County and the Lewis County IDA from any and all claims or causes of action arising from the use of such photographs, including, without limitation, claims for libel or invasion of privacy.
I hereby grant Lewis County the permission to post temporary signage at the project location(s) identifying the participation in the Façade and Streetscape Improvement Program and, furthermore, installing a permeant plaque, provided by Lewis County, of the program participation at the completion of the project.
Entering your name below serves as a digital signature:*
Submit

For questions about this program, please contact Megan Krokowski, Community Development Specialist, at 315-376-5423 or megankrokowski@lewiscounty.ny.gov