Four properties in Burns Lake’s downtown core will be getting a facelift this year with financial assistance from the village’s business façade improvement program.
The Philip Sensenig Building located at 343 Highway 16 (formerly known as the Wrightway Building), the Burns Lake Laundromat (447 Highway 16), the Evergreen Mall (321 Highway 16), and FYI Eye Care (310 Highway 16) will each receive up to $5000 for façade improvements in 2015.
According to village Chief Administrative Office Sheryl Worthing, the majority of applicants “plan on painting or installing new siding and/or brick.” Many, she added, are also adding new windows and trim.
To receive the full $5000 grant, property owners must spend at least $10,000 on façade improvements. Worthing said this year’s approved projects range in value from $11,000 to $30,000.
The Evergreen Mall, one of the buildings slated for upgrading in 2015, is owned by 773413 BC Ltd. and has already undergone extensive improvements.
Jennifer McPhail, one of the company’s principals, said last week the grant will help complete Phase II of the upgrade, which involves updating the building’s windows, doors, and other exterior fixtures, as well as “matching the same front look as what was completed on the other side.
“The grant itself just helps justify the expense of finishing the renovations now versus two years from now, when I was originally thinking of finishing it off,” explained McPhail. “The cost to complete such a renovation that we are undertaking is quite costly, so any grant, no matter how big or small, helps.
“I’m super excited to get it done, as it would make this whole building complete and finishes the look we are going for.”
While pleased to hear that her application had been approved, McPhail described the process as a “long, drawn out” one.
“I assumed in the end I wouldn’t quality due to yet another interpretation, but it all worked in my favour,” she explained. “I would tell anyone to keep asking, and asking, and asking, and at some point, it will work out in your favour – at least it did in my case.”
The Downtown Burns Lake Façade Improvement Program is made possible with an annual grant of $20,000 from the Northern Development Initiative Trust. Prior to this year, six businesses had received grants totaling approximately $30,000.