The PA Route 6 Alliance and the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship (PA Wilds Center) are launching a regional façade grant program for communities along Route 6 in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Commercial property owners interested in the program are invited to attend one of the public meetings being held throughout the four-county area.
The PA Route 6 and PA Wilds Regional Façade Program is intended enhance the attractiveness of the small towns within the PA Wilds and along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor by helping commercial property owners and business owners in Warren, McKean, Potter and Tioga County improve the look of their buildings.
“We’ve seen a lot of nature and heritage tourism investment in the Pennsylvania Wilds in recent years, and it is creating real opportunities for communities to draw visitors in to fuel business and job growth and improve quality of life,” said PA Wilds Center Executive Director, Ta Enos. “To attract visitors – and most other kinds of investment — communities need to appear welcoming. This program helps communities achieve that.”
The PA Route 6 and PA Wilds Façade Program will provide funding to commercial building owners and business owners (with property owner approval) as well as non-profits, with the restoration of building facades within the targeted area. Eligible types of restoration activities include design assistance, a fresh coat of paint, new signage, and repairing or replacing an awning. Façade improvements do not need to be costly and will greatly improve the façade of the building, making a lasting effect on the community.
According to Terri Dennison of the PA Route 6 Alliance, the Façade program will fund about 32 façade projects at a maximum of $5000 each with a required 1:1 match. It will also make smaller matching signage grants available to 50 retail and host site establishments involved in The Wilds Cooperative, a visitor experience the PA Wilds Center is working to curate and grow.
Public meetings to explain the guidelines and grant procedures will be held at the following locations:
- Tuesday, September 12 at 1pm, Warren Public Library, 205 Market St, Warren
- Wednesday, September 20 at 10am,Gunzburger Building, Conference Room 1 Main Street, Coudersport
- Wednesday, September 20 at 1pm, Wellsboro Borough Office, 14 Crafton Street, Wellsboro
- Wednesday, September 27 at 1:30pm, McKean County 911 Center Conference Room, 17175 Route 6, Smethport
The program is made possible thanks to an $183,000 Keystone Communities grant from the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and project support funding from the PA Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR).
For more information about the PA Route 6 and PA Wilds Regional Façade Program or to register for the public meetings, contact the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814-435-7706.