Fri11282014

Last updateMon, 27 Nov 2017 12am

   201411metrocastweb

Revitalization Plan reviewed

The Colonial Beach Business District Revitalization Management Team (Block Grant Committee) met on Dec 12 to review the Revitalization Plan’s last chapter on implementation and reviewed cost estimates for various proposed projects to utilize sought after revitalization grant money.

If approved the Business District Revitalization Grant could net the town up to

$750,000 for physical improvements and another $250,000 for rental housing improvements within the Business district. Up to $25,000 could be used for each rental unit by building owners.

Colonial Beach could see Grant money and the start of Boardwalk improvements as early as January 2013. The Block Grant Committee will finalized it’s plan for public review in Jan 2012 and present it to Town Council in February holding a public hearing. The grant application will be filed in April 2012.

The Block Grant Team hopes council will formally adopt the revitalization plan. As the plan becomes finalized the management team plans to bring it before the Town Council to adopt it into various town plans, ordinances and programs. First on the agenda is incorporating the Revitalization plan with the Comprehensive and the Capital Improvement plans, ultimately merging it with Zoning Ordinances.

By adopting the revitalization plan into these other key town documents the team is opening the possibility of funding from other state and federal sources for some of the plan elements. It also establishes community and political acceptance and support.
Although many ideas and focus areas have been identified by the block grant team the focus of improvements will start on the main area of the Boardwalk from Hawthorne to Colonial Ave and fan out as other sources of funding are sought and secured. Rough cost estimates for this areas improvements total just under $816,000.

The group also plans to focus on uniform decorative way/directional signage through out the entire business district to help tourists locate key areas of interest and parking.

As the plan is finalized the committee will evolve into an implementation committee. Most of the management team will most likely move forward into this new committee but it will be more formally established as an Economic Development Management Committee responsible for implementing the plan. The new committee will report regularly to the town council and will work closely with Town staff to implement the plan.

The implementation plan covers a wide variety of actions to; increase tourism by 5 percent a year, market and brand the community, access capital funding for business district improvements and implement business incentives resulting in future development and recruiting new business into the community.

The group will meet one more time on Jan 9, 2012 to review the final draft of the entire Business District Revitalization Plan and make any last minute changes before making it available to the public and town council in February.

Linda Farneth

 

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