revitalization

First Sign Enhancement Grant approved

The Ritz Theatre to upgrade marquee/signage

Ritz Sign.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 29, 2018 – The Architectural Board of Review has approved the first Sign Enhancement Grant in the amount of $1,000 for improvements to the marquee of The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St.

Ritz Theatre Executive Director Michael Strong said the grant will help alleviate the costs of restoring the signage of the historic theater. “It is imperative that we retain the historic nature of the theater even as we update technology in the lighting,” he said. “This grant helps make it more affordable to make the appropriate changes the right way.”

The Ritz Theatre is the first project approved for a Sign Enhancement Grant since it was implemented by the City of Tiffin at the beginning of 2018. The grant is a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000. The Ritz was awarded $1,000 to replace and upgrade the lighting of their sign, marquee and “downlight” to the long-life and cost-saving LED equivalents while retaining the vintage look of the signage.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I am pleased to see The Ritz Theatre taking advantage of the program and I encourage any other downtown business looking to upgrade their signage to apply.”

The Sign Enhancement Grant is available through the end of 2018. For more information about the program, contact Downtown Manager Amy Reinhart at 419.619.5517 or reinhart@senecacounty.org.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Downtown CDBG Façade Enhancement Grant Program expanded

Revised CDBG Target Area

Commercial buildings within the orange line are eligible.

Area, scope of state grant increased

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 1, 2018 – The downtown Community Development Block Grant-funded Façade Enhancement Program has been expanded to include more downtown buildings and apply to a wider variety of projects. The grant is federally funded and provides a 50% reimbursement of up to $15,000 for improvements to downtown buildings.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is excited about the impact the expansion could have. “With both the city and CDBG Façade Enhancement Grant programs we have seen a tremendous revitalization in the appearance of our downtown buildings,” he said. “This program expansion is another opportunity to contribute to the health and longevity of our downtown structures.”

The program guidelines have changed to allow for all commercial buildings within the area designated for the CDBG, as well as some of the area within the existing Architectural Board of Review district covered by the city’s Façade Enhancement Grant Program.

Eligible projects now include all building elevations and the roof along with any code improvements.  This can include awnings, window/door repair/replacement, painting of already painted surfaces, tuck pointing, signage, second floor egress, roofing, repair or replacement of furnaces and HVAC units, electrical upgrades, plumbing improvements, handicapped accessibility, roof repair/replacement, foundation repair/replacement and structural improvements.

Since its inception in 2014, the City of Tiffin’s Façade Enhancement Program has been awarded to 58 projects, for a total investment of $1.7 million. Three projects have been completed using the CDBG Façade Enhancement Program since it was made available in spring of 2017, for a total investment of $103,000.

This grant will be available on a first come first serve basis, but all projects must be completed by August 31, 2018, when the grant expires. For more information, contact SIEDC Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart at 419.619.5517 or reinhart@senecacounty.org.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

ABR approves two Façade Enhancement Grants

$40,000 remains in city fund for 2017

Elks LodgeTIFFIN, OHIO – March 7, 2017 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved two Façade Enhancement Grants for downtown building improvements. The projects were awarded a combined total of $5,337, for a total reinvestment in downtown Tiffin of $10,675, leaving close to $40,000 available of the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2017.

The Tiffin Elks Lodge, located at 106 E. Perry St., will be replacing the third floor windows to match the second floor, and repairing stucco. This is the third grant the building has received, one for each year of the program. “Being able to apply for Façade Grant funding each year has allowed us to make a strategic plan for building repairs,” Elks Exalted Ruler Joe Steinmetz said. “It also eases some of the burden of maintaining the building.”

Phat Cakes Exterior 2The Phat Cakes building, located at 45 S. Washington St. will also be undergoing some window repair. It was approved for a grant including the replacement and repair of wood trim and flashing around the front windows, as well as roof, gutter and shingle repair.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased to see the grant is being used both by repeat applicants and newcomers. “One of today’s approvals shows how the grant has fostered continuous improvements to our downtown buildings, and the other shows that there are still building owners taking advantage of the grant for the first time,” he said.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

First Façade Grants of 2017 approved

ABR approves grants for five downtown buildings

20170117_110055

33 S. Washington St.

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 17, 2017 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved five Façade Enhancement Grants, the first grants approved in 2017. The projects were awarded a combined total of $30,850, for a total reinvestment in downtown Tiffin of $65,500.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz says the program is off to a strong start. “Last year was amazing! We ran out of funds halfway through 2016,” he said. “We are in our third year of the program and it is more in demand than ever; the momentum just keeps building.”

Three buildings were awarded grant funds for roofing projects: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 25-27 S. Washington St., and 29-31 S. Washington St. Additionally, 132-134 S. Washington St. (Viewpoint Graphics) was approved for a brick tuck-pointing and overall façade painting project, and 33 S. Washington St. was approved for replacement windows.

The building at 33 S. Washington St. will be the first to take advantage of the “façade return” allowance approved in May 2016. Building owner Ned Behm appreciated the ABR including the unique situation. “I received grant funding for the front of my building in 2015, but it didn’t take into account the windows that were a part of the overal ‘façade’ but not technically facing the street,” he said. “I am pleased that program was amended to accommodate my building as well as the other buildings downtown with the same issue.”

The Façade Enhancement Program was established in September of 2014. At the end of 2016, the City of Tiffin had invested $250,000 in 38 projects, for a total reinvestment in downtown revitalization of nearly $1.2 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program

This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit www.senecasuccess.com, search “Façade Enhancement”)

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program: A step-by-step guide

The downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program was launched in 2014 to spur downtown revitalization by providing financial assistance for outside, street-facing building repairs. Eligible projects can receive a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in matching funds. Below is a step-by-step guide to the program.

Application process

The building owner should meet with SIEDC’s Downtown Main Street Manager, Amy Reinhart, to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. The application needs to be submitted and approved before any work has begun.

The building owner must include the following upon submission of their application:

  • Façade Enhancement Application
  • Architectural Board of Review Application  (See ABR Guidelines)
  • W9 form for City to open purchase order.
  • A minimum of two quotes from contractors on the work to be performed (if project is over $3,000 total).
  • Pictures of existing conditions.
  • Pictures or catalog cuts for the items to be purchased (awnings, doors, windows, etc.). If window replacement is recommended, a catalog cut along with dimensioned drawings of the window to be installed are required.  This will include the size of the window, any muntin bars as well as the depth and height of the frame around the window and at any corners where the windows connect.
  • If painting, the historic paint colors must be used. Please provide color samples from the historic line.  This can come from any paint company that provides a historic line, but Sherwin Williams and Ace Hardware do provide a paint discount for any building owner who receives façade approval.
  • A detailed description of the project

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. Due to the first come first serve nature of the funding, incomplete applications will not be accepted.  When the funds run out, the program ends for the calendar year.  When determining the City budget, Council will determine if funding will be renewed for the following year.

Once the application and all above mentioned items are compiled, they should be brought to the Main Street Manager.  She will review the applications for completeness and determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed prior to submission of the application to the City.  She will work with the Chair of the Architectural Board of Review and the City Engineer’s office to determine if any additional items need to be addressed.

Once the application is reviewed and deemed complete and without any issues, the Main Street Manager will submit the application and attachments to the City to be added to the Architectural Board of Review Agenda.

Architectural Board of Review meetings take place the first and third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 in City Hall.  The owner or a representative must be present at the meeting to answer any questions that may come from the application.  The number of applications reviewed at the meeting is determined by the Chair due to the intensity of the application reviews.  To be considered for the upcoming meeting, all information must be turned in one week prior to the meeting, so proper distribution of materials can take place for Board members.  Additionally, the meeting agenda must be listed in the newspaper as it is required for all public meetings.

Beginning the project

Once the Architectural Board of Review has approved the application, work may begin on the project.  The owner will receive the certificate of appropriateness in the mail following the approval.

If any part of the project changes at any time during the work, the owner must contact the Main Street Manager for a change form.  The changes must be approved by the Architectural Board of Review, as this is a change to a contract that the owner entered into when receiving approval from the City for the funds.

Completing the project

The owner has until December of the following calendar year to complete the work.  For example: if a project is approved in March of 2016, the owner will have until December of 2017 to complete the work.  If the owner is approved in December of 2016, the work must be completed by December of 2017.

Once the work is complete, the owner will submit paid receipts from the contractor to the Main Street Manager.  The manager will complete the final inspection forms and submit those to the City Finance Director and City Engineer’s office along with the paid receipts.  The City Engineer will complete the inspection and sign off.  He will then send it to the City Finance Director who will complete the check and send it to the owner.  The check will be made out to the name on the W9 form only.

For examples of projects that have received grant funding, click here.

For the complete Facade Enhancement Program, click here.

For all questions and guidance through the process contact:

Amy Reinhart
Downtown Main Street Manager, SIEDC
419.619.5517
reinhart@senecacounty.org
M-Th, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Downtown Facade Enhancement Grant Program: 2014-Present

The downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program was launched in 2014 to spur downtown revitalization by providing financial assistance for outside, street-facing building repairs. Eligible projects can receive a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in matching funds. Since its inception, the City of Tiffin has invested $350,000 in 65 projects, for a total reinvestment in downtown revitalization of $2.2 million.

Here is a recap of the program’s impact, by year, from 2014 to the end of 2018:

2014

The City of Tiffin set aside $50,000 for the Facade Enhancement Grant program. Ten projects were approved, for a total investment of $110,000. View 2014 project list.

2015

Following the successful launch of the program, the city set aside $100,000 for Facade Enhancement in 2015. There were 16 grant approvals, resulting in a $700,000 investment in downtown Tiffin. View 2015 project list.

2016

In 2016, the Facade Enhancement Program was in high demand. The city once again set aside $100,000 for the grant program, and the funds were exhausted halfway through the year. Eleven projects were approved for grant funding, totaling $323,000 in downtown reinvestment. View 2016 project list.

2017

In 2017, the city allotted another $100,000 to the Facade Enhance Program with record results. Just four months into the year, the funds were depleted on 16 projects totaling a $266,000 investment. View 2017 project list.

2018

In 2018, the city again funded the program at $100,000. The funds were exhausted by the end of August, resulting in 13 projects and a total downtown reinvestment of $584,000. View 2018 project list.

The program is a first-come, first-serve reimbursement grant program for exterior improvements to buildings in the downtown historic district. It will provide a 50% match up to $10,000 per project for eligible exterior improvements. In order to qualify, a property goes through the standard Architectural Board of Review (ABR) Process using the current ABR Guidelines. During the initial Discussion phase, Downtown Development Coordinator Amy Reinhart will determine if Facade Enhancement funding is still available and if the project qualifies. She will then guide the business through the process.

Please see the Program Guidelines for all the rules and regulations and/or contact Amy Reinhart (419.619.5517, reinhart@tiffinseneca.org) with any questions you may have.

A step-by-step guide can be found here.

THIRD FAÇADE ENHANCEMENT GRANT APPROVED

Graphics company contributing to downtown revitalization

rushn graphix
TIFFIN, OHIO – March 31, 2015 – This week, Tiffin’s Architectural Board of Review approved a Façade Enhancement Grant for Rush Graphix. The company’s proposed renovation and contribution to downtown revitalization involves the replacement of siding fasteners, exterior painting and the addition of a new corner-wrap awning.

Bill Franklin, owner of Rush Graphix, appreciates the grant program and announced they will proceed with the investment.  “The cost of improving a downtown building is significant, a 50 percent reimbursement is a welcome incentive.”

Rush Graphix, located at 30 Riverside Drive, has been in Tiffin for nearly nine years.  Prior to 2006, there were multiple businesses at this location.  In 1931, the Riverside Drive portion of the building, was part of the Frank Shire Filling Station.  It was subsequently owned by several automotive businesses, including Rose Motor Sales, Oldsmobile and Cadillac from 1955 to 1964.  Later, the property was purchased by Riverside Engines (JL Riedle Enterprises) who remained the owner until November of 2005 when the building was purchased by Bill Franklin.  (Source – John Huss, Architectural Board of Review Chair)

This is the third Façade Enhancement Grant for 2015. The previous 2015 approvals were awarded to the Knights of Columbus located at 49 E. Perry St. and Lange, DeVine & Claus located at 27 Court St.  Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz continues to be encouraged by the revitalization taking place downtown.  “Every building owner is an asset to the downtown and each project affirms their commitment to our great City.”

About the Façade Enhancement Program

This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and covers 50 percent of eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district. Each building is eligible up to $10,000 per calendar year.  Last year, $50,000 in available funds supported 11 projects, resulting in a total investment of more than $150,000. Learn more at www.senecasuccess.com (search Façade Enhancement.)

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. In 2012, the community was ranked in the top 5 percent nationally for economic development, and last year, it was recognized as one of the top ten communities out of almost 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.