A business facade revitalization program that came to the attention of Village of Burns Lake (VBL) council at the end of May 2013, has been approved for Burns Lake.
The Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) Business Facade Improvement program could, according to a May 24, 2013 VBL council report, provide up to $20,000 worth of funding annually to be allocated to a maximum of $5000 per business facade upgrade.
Eligibility criteria will be determined at the conclusion of current downtown revitalization design guidelines being considered by Burns Lake businesses and the Downtown Revitalization Committee.
The funds are matching funds, so a dollar spent by the business is met by a dollar from the NDIT. Details of how the funding will be allocated will not be available until after design guideline criteria are established and the VBL has approved those criteria.
“We distributed a copy of the draft design guidelines a few weeks ago, and have given the public until July 26 to weigh in,” said Emile Scheffel, Village of Burns Lake economic development officer.
The draft design guidelines and survey were hand delivered by Scheffel to businesses along the revitalization corridor. Electronic versions of the documents were distributed through email and social media.
“Once public feedback is received and brought back to the Downtown Revitalization Committee, we’ll be able to finalize the design guidelines and open up the facade program for applications from downtown businesses.”
It is too early to begin looking for applications for the grants. The Village of Burns Lake expects to have a facade improvement grant application package ready later this fall.