Belleville Facade Improvement Grant Program
The Belleville Façade Improvement Grant Program (Program) has been established to stimulate exterior building improvements in the downtown area. The program is administered by the designated Program Administrator (Administrator).
The purpose of the Program is to provide 50% matching grants to existing commercial buildings for preservation, restoration & maintenance. Program resources should produce visible changes to commercial building facades. Changes should reinforce the historic character of the district, especially by restoring original historic structures and architectural details. Since funding sources are limited, priority will be given to projects demonstrating the most substantial positive impact on aesthetic quality and historic accuracy.
The Program is available to all downtown businesses located within the Downtown Design District.
Funds must be used for façade rehabilitation of existing commercial buildings within the Downtown Design District.
- Buildings do NOT need to be formally designated as historic by the State of Wisconsin or the National Park Service to be eligible for the Program, nor will participation in the Program establish such formal designation.
- All properties must be conforming uses or legal nonconforming uses under the Village’s zoning ordinance.
- Properties will not be eligible if any special assessments, real estate taxes or personal property taxes are delinquent.
- Only one grant per property will be allowed each calendar year.
- Buildings with multiple tenants must be remodeled in a unified manner.
Owners, tenants, or owner/tenant joint ventures may submit applicants under this program. Tenants must submit written approval of the property owner, evidence of their leasehold interest.
Eligible Activities - Eligible activities shall include but are not limited to the following:
- Improvements visible from the public right-of-way or BellevilleCommunityPark.
- Improvements that bring a structure into conformance with applicable Downtown Design Standards.
- Repair and/or replacement of original building materials and decorative details that are deteriorated or missing.
- Repair of non-original materials that cannot be removed due to deterioration of the underlying original building material.
- Cleaning of exterior building surfaces.
- Tuck pointing and masonry repair.
- Signage, in conformance with approved Downtown Design Standards.
The following are not eligible for inclusion in this Program:
- Improvements that alter a feature regulated by the Downtown Design Standards but do not result in conformance with those standards
- Roof repairs
- Construction of new buildings
- Structural additions to existing buildings
- Purchase of property and/or buildings
- Interior fixtures & furnishings
- Inventory or operating capital
The program contains a matching grant. All grant funds are allocated and administered by the Administrator, with final approval provided by the Belleville Community Development Authority (CDA) and Plan Commission (PC). Grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Buildings shall be eligible for grant funding only once per calendar year. And each building is eligible for a maximum funding of up to $5,000 per calendar year. Façade Grant funds shall be allocated to specific projects based on the following formula:
- 50% matching grant up to $5,000
- Funds are available up to the amount budgeted annually by the Village of Belleville. Grants amounts and formulas are subject to change.
All applicants shall utilize the Belleville Downtown Design Standards as a guide for designing improvements to buildings. For purposes of grant funding applications, applicants should follow both the “standards” and the “recommendations” provided in the Downtown Design Standards. If the subject property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, improvements must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (Revised 1990).
- Applicant obtains application form and copy of Downtown Design Standards from Administrator to develop ideas for improvements.
- Based upon a design concept, the applicant obtains two (2) preliminary cost estimates from contractor(s) selected by the applicant.
- Applicant completes an application and submits to CDA. Application will include:
- Statement of project objective
- Description of work to be completed
- Plans and drawings
- Schedule for completion of work
- Itemized cost estimate for entire project
- Two (2) cost estimates for all work to be completed by contractors
- Total grant request
- List of any permits needed to comply with Village ordinances
- A non-refundable application fee of $100 must be submitted with the application. Make check payable to: Belleville CDA.
- The CDA will contact applicants within 14 days of the review.
- If the application is approved by the CDA, the Administrator will fill out the Project Agreement Form, including any special conditions of approval. This Agreement must be signed by both the applicant and the applicant’s chosen contractor for the project, and the original returned to the Administrator. If the application is not approved by the CDA, the Administrator will explain the reasons for rejection, and what, if any, steps can be taken to gain approval.
- Projects that commence prior to approval by the CDA do so at their own risk but may be eligible for a grant if the proposal conforms to the Downtown Design Standards and is for an eligible activity, as determined by the CDA. In such cases, the CDA will review the application at the next regular meeting following the filing of the application and make the necessary determinations. In no case shall a grant be approved by a project that was completed or started more than six months prior to the date of application submittal.
POST APPLICATION PROCEDURE
- Projects must be started within two (2) months of approval and completed within twelve (12) months.
- Changes in the approved work specifications must be approved by the CDA. Unapproved changes may void the grant award.
- Approved changed will be attached to the original application and must be dated and signed by the Administrator.
- Administrator or Village Building Inspector may review work at any time to confirm compliance with approved plans. Applicant must contact Administrator when work is completed to arrange final review. Applicant and Administrator will tour and review work together to verify compliance with the approved plans.
- Both applicant and Administrator must sign off on the Project Completion Form before the grant payment will be made to the applicant, indicating that the completed work conforms to the approved application and that proof of payment to contractors has been provided.
- Grants will be paid within 14 days after the Administrator signs the Project Completion Form.