Pickerington Times-Sun

Block grant funds to be available in Olde Pickerington


Businesses either looking to locate or expand in Olde Pickerington Village might be eligible to participate in a unique funding opportunity to help spruce up their properties.

Dec. 17, Pickerington City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to adopt the "Olde Pickerington Village Economic Grant Program."

The program allows the city to invest $67,000 from the Community Development Block Grant Fund to help spur economic development activity in the Olde Pickerington Village District.

City Manager Bill Vance emphasized the grant program's special status.

"The importance of commercial property owners taking advantage of CDBG grant funds is the fact that such funding is not guaranteed to occur anytime soon as these are not recurring tax revenues, they are 'one-time' federal grants," Vance said.

The maximum funding amount a grant applicant can seek is $10,000 with a minimum amount set at $1,000.

Vance said no matching amount is required, however, a "match is helpful."

According to city officials, the purpose of the program is to provide economic incentives to stimulate additional commercial investment, enlarge the tax base, increase the business interest in Olde Pickerington Village and to make significant improvements to the overall appeal of the area.

"Pickerington's Olde Village continues to see a resurgence in new investment and development interest," Vance said.

He said the allocation of grant funds can create additional commercial properties in Pickerington "that can be receptive to new tax-base enhancing job creation."

New investment in Olde Village collectively benefits the business tenant, property owner, Olde Pickerington Village Business Association "and obviously the city of Pickerington itself," Vance said.

"Investing in and rewarding those who invest in Pickerington is a big part of our city's successful local government business plan," he said.

The program mandates funding allocation recommendations be based on the economic impact of the proposed project and how the project will impact the improvement of Olde Pickerington Village as a whole.

Funding allocation recommendations will be directed to the city of Pickerington's Finance Committee for final approval in March based on the recommendations of the committee.

Applicants will receive grant money after the work is completed and verified by city staff.

If approved, they would need to provide documentation on the final cost of the work that was completed prior to receiving the grant.

The chosen contractor will need to be registered with the city of Pickerington.

Olde Pickerington Village Economic Development Grant Program applications can be obtained at City Hall, 100 Lockville Road, or at the city's Development Department at 51 E. Columbus St., or via the city's website at www.pickerington.net.

The grant applications will be accepted starting at 8 a.m. Feb. 5.

Only one application is allowed per property owner in Olde Pickerington Village and all improvements should comply with the city's Building and Zoning codes.