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Façade and Streetscape Improvement Program

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, non-profits, and businesses with mixed-use and commercial buildings (to include multi-unit dwellings) 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 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

Round 3

  • Funding Open:
    September 1, 2023
  • Application Due Date: 
    November 3, 2023
  • Committee Review:
    November 15, 2023
  • Award Notifications:
    December 1, 2023

Round 3 Application

Applications for Round 3 of the Facade and Streetscape Improvement Program are available via fillable PDF or as an online form (see below). For a paper copy version of the application, please contact the Lewis County Planning & Community Development Department and a copy will be mailed to you. Paper applications should be mailed to: 
Megan Krokowski
Community Development Specialist
Lewis County Planning & Community Development 
7660 N. State Street
Suite 324
Lowville, NY 13367
Once your application has been received, a confirmation email or letter will be sent. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application has been received. If no confirmation has been made, promptly reach out to Megan Krokowski at 315-376-5423. 


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