Facade, Awning & Sign Improvement Program

Facade, Awning & Sign Improvement Program

In 2019, the Village was awarded a $50,000 grant through the Waukesha County Community Development Block Grant Program to create a Facade, Awning & Sign Improvement Program in the Village.   Applications from business owners are currently being accepted for matching grants up to $10,000 for qualified projects.

The Façade Improvement Program is to stimulate exterior building improvements within existing commercial buildings within business districts throughout the Village. The concept is promoting investment in designated areas throughout the Village of Butler by providing a financial incentive for businesses and property owners to arrest the conditions of blight and invest in their property. The improvements should produce a visible change to the building facades. The program is funded with federal Community Development Block Grant Funds.

The funds are paid as a matching grant for project materials, are based on availability of funds, and are awarded on a first come, first served basis, at the discretion of the Village Board. Matching grants for materials are available for up to $10,000 based on the scope of the project. No grants will be made available for façade repairs or renovations under $1,000

PROGRAM GOALS

  • Remove conditions of blight
  • Enhance the attractiveness of the districts.
  • Promote a high level of maintenance for a sustainable commercial area.
  • Promote commercial vitality and increase economic activity.
  • Maintain or improve existing property values in the target area and adjacent areas.

 TARGET AREA

  1. Downtown Butler – Hampton Avenue between 124th Street and 132nd Street
  2. 124th Street Corridor – 124th Street from the Southern Village Limit to the Northern Village Limit.
  3. Businesses in the M-1 Zoning District

PROJECT ELIGIBILITY

Funds shall be used for façade rehabilitation of commercial buildings in the Village of Butler. Additionally the following requirements must be met:

  • All properties must be a conforming use under the Village of Butler’s Zoning Ordinance or have received a variance.
  • For the purpose of this program, properties without a commercial use on the first floor shall not be considered commercial properties.
  • All outstanding utility bills, special assessments, real estate taxes, and personal property taxes must be current.
  • There shall be no outstanding building code violations on the property.
  • Owners, tenants, or owner-tenant joint ventures are eligible for matching grants. If the tenant is the applicant, written approval from the property owner must be submitted
  • Facades must comply with all codes and improve the physical appearance of the business.
  • Bid requirements
    • A minimum of three (3) bids should be obtained (when reasonably possible) with the award based on the lowest bid.
  • To all extents possible, you should use a contractor based in Waukesha County (or one owned by a Waukesha County resident) and/or a contractor that is minority-owned, female-owned, or a disadvantaged business located in Waukesha County or Milwaukee County.
  • Building permits and proper inspections may be required by the Village.

 ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES

Eligible activities shall include but are not limited to the following:

  • Repair and/or replacement of the original building’s materials and decorative details, which are deteriorated or missing.
  • Repair of non-original materials, which cannot be removed due to deterioration of the underlying original building material.
  • Cleaning of exterior building surfaces.
  • Tuck pointing and masonry repair.
  • Repair, replacement or addition of entrances, doors, or exterior display window.
  • Removal repair and/or replacement of existing signs and awnings.
  • New signs and awnings.
  • Landscaping improvements and planters.
  • Permanent exterior lighting.
  • Permit fees for completed projects.
  • Energy savings improvements in relationship to the front façade.

NON-ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES

  • Work on a facade not visible from a public street.
  • Work on a roof.
  • Work done before approval of an Application Agreement for this Facade Improvement Program.
  • Purchase of property.
  • Construction of a NEW building or structural additions to existing buildings, residential or other non-commercial properties such as churches and public buildings.
  • Fixtures and equipment.

 PROGRAM FUNDING

This program is established to stimulate superior facade improvements in the target areas.

This grant will share in the actual cost of implementing the improvements identified in the conceptual design and cost estimate including the cost to complete final design and construction documents.  An approved applicant will receive up to 50% of the aforementioned costs up to $10,000 ($20,000 project).

APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. An official application containing all information requested shall be submitted to the Village Administrator.
  2. Staff will review the application and will meet with the Owner/Applicant to discuss the proposed project, review the bids, and outline program expectations.
  3. Once all complete project applications, bid documents, and agreements are in place, the Village Board must approve the project and funding agreement.
  4. The Owner/Applicant and Village will execute an agreement in which the Owner/Applicant agrees to complete the project within one year and comply with all federal requirements. In return, the Village agrees to reimburse the Owner/Applicant for up to 50% of the cost of the project, up to $10,000, including the preparation of plans and specifications, upon completion of the project.
  5. The Owner/Applicant and the Village will conduct a preconstruction meeting prior to the start of work.
  6. The Village reserves the right to withhold payment if terms and conditions of the grant pertaining to federal compliance are not satisfied during the course of the project.

 

Facade Improvement Guidelines and Application