Councilors Hear Facade Information

Buildings in downtown New Sharon could see a facelift if the city and building owners decide to undertake a façade project. New Sharon city councilors heard some preliminary information on the process.

Councilors heard of presentation from Brad Grefe, a senior planner from Area 15 Regional Planning in Ottumwa. Grefe had received information that the city and interested parties may be looking at a commercial building façade project. Several communities in the Southeast Iowa are have undertaken the project including Oskaloosa, Ottumwa and Eldon.

The purpose of the project has more to do with preservation of the buildings versus the cosmetic look. Grefe said in his look over downtown he saw many buildings with new paint and good looks, but the mortar was loose. Grefe said he identified a dozen buildings that could be included in the project, but at least eight would be needed to make the project move into the grant stage. Building owners would have to be on board before the project would go forward.

There would be several steps to the project before a grant request could be made. There would also have to be additional funding sources in order to apply for the Community Development Block Grant. Start to finish could take two to three years.

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