Lewis County launches façade program

LOWVILLE, NY – Lewis County is excited to launch a new program to incentivize property owners, business owners and municipalities with façade improvements and streetscape projects in downtown areas across the county.

The Façade & Streetscape Improvement Program is an investment from the Lewis County American Rescue Plan Act funds of $450,000 over a two-year period.

Lewis County’s downtown districts and public spaces hold central importance for community gatherings, special events, and the success of small businesses. The Façade & Streetscape Improvement Program aims to revitalize the historic character and attractiveness of villages and hamlets in Lewis County through public and private investment. To encourage and advance revitalization efforts, this program will provide 75/25 matching funds for eligible improvements to mixed-use and commercial buildings and streetscape enhancements in Lewis County’s villages and hamlets. Together, these improvements will help business growth and retention, enhance tourism, increase spending in the local economy, and reduce the number of blighted and vacant properties.

“Lewis County lost 2% of our population over the last decade. Now more than ever, families have the freedom to choose where they live. By revitalizing in our downtowns and focusing on placemaking, we are sending a message that Lewis County is a community worth investing in,” said Lewis County Manager, Ryan Piche.

Façade improvement funds are available to property owners and businesses with mixed-use and commercial buildings located in a downtown area of a hamlet or village. Projects must align with local zoning regulations and design standards. Façade improvements can include, but are not limited to, upgrades to entryways, signage, windows, doors, paint, and exterior lighting.

Streetscape improvement funds are available to municipalities to improve walkability and community aesthetics in a village or hamlet. Streetscape improvements can include gateway and wayfinding signage, street furniture, landscaping, and public art.

The Façade & Streetscape Program is a competitive funding application. Applications for Round One of funding for the Program will open on August 18, 2021. Applications are due on November 5, 2021.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from the Department of Planning & Community Development, Naturally Lewis, County Manager, Lewis County Historical Society, and the Board of Legislators. Award notifications will be made on December 1, 2021.

To learn more about the Lewis County Façade & Streetscape Improvement Program or to apply, visit the Naturally Lewis website: www.naturallylewis.com/initiatives/facade-streetscape-improvement-program.

Lewis County residents are invited to Like and Follow the Lewis County Planning Department’s new Facebook page @planLC to receive timely updates on County events, initiatives, and the work of the Lewis County Legislators.