Fri04252014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Revitalization team still hard at work

The Colonial Beach Business District Revitalization Management Team held a meeting on May 23 to discuss the progress of the town’s Community Development Block Grant application (CDBG) and two other grants the town is seeking, to improve the business district in Colonial Beach. 

The town’s CDBG application is currently under review by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and decisions for awarding these types of grants are expected this month. 

The CDBG grant, if awarded, could net the town as much as $750,000 to focus on giving the boardwalk a much needed facelift as well as making pedestrian traffic safer and more enjoyable for the public. 

The improvements are focused on the boardwalk but will also start improvements to Taylor St. as well. The goal is to make Taylor St. more functional by making it a parking area or more pedestrian friendly. 

The town is also seeking two more grants, a tourism grant to fund marketing materials and a Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) to make improvements to be used for pier improvements. 

Tourism Grant 

The tourism grant is provided through the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program and is specifically designed to leverage limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new marketing programs through the creation of tourism partnerships, to develop a research-based marketing program with strong measures of success, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign.

If awarded the town plans to use this grant to develop web based promotions for the town. Consideration of printed materials left the group divided, but it was determined that web based promotions are more cost effective and can reach a broader audience. 

The deadline for the application is June 26.

BIG Grant

The Boating Infrastructure Grant is offered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Colonial Beach Foundation previously applied for a grant under this program to fund improvements to the Municipal Pier, but the revitalization committee is recommending that this grant be pursued for the construction of a day dock at the end of Colonial Ave. as described in the Business District Revitalization Plan. 

The grant requirements focus on transient boaters who would stop for the day or stay for 10 days or less, which fits right in with the proposed pier use in the revitalization plan. 

A 30 to 50 percent match is usually required. Building and Zoning Director Gary Mitchell has been in contact with parties, interested in both the Beach Inn at the end of Colonial Ave. and the Riverboat, about similar improvements. 

Since both the sale of Riverboat and the Beach Inn have not been completed, the group will hold off work on this grant until after sales are final. Applications for this grant are due in August. 

 

Linda Farneth

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