The Fowlerville Village Council this week made the first move in a program that aims to improve the appearance of a village where it’s “sorely needed,” one official said.
With all trustees in favor, the council adopted an ordinance to amend the Downtown Development Authority plan, creating a $10,000 new program to restore and improve building facades.
“It’s a good program,” Village President Wayne Copeland said. “It may help us get some of the building faces improved downtown.”
The program calls for building owners who wish to apply to provide the DDA a five-year facade easement on their facility, to ensure the building will be maintained during that time. The DDA would contribute up to 50 percent of the cost of the proposed improvements, under the constraint of the authority’s budget.
DDA Administrator Fred Dillingham with Livingston Business Development Associates said he’s received several inquiries from businesses since the Daily Press & Argus published an article on the program last week. The overall improvements to downtown appearance are “sorely needed,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we’ll probably have a lot more interest than we have money to assist,” Dillingham said.
The administrator acknowledges $10,000 isn’t enough to start a “huge program” but it’s a “step in the right direction.” Work will likely include “very basic cosmetic improvements,” like painting and brick repair, Dillingham said.
The DDA has wanted to offer such a program for two to three years, but “thin finances” have prevented it from doing so, he said.
Dillingham anticipates the program will start this fall or in the spring, if the weather doesn’t cooperate. The ordinance is now in a 30-day public comment period before going into affect.
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