DOVER (WJER) - The city is making grants available for projects that help return downtown to its historic architectural roots.
Council earlier this week unanimously agreed to make city bed tax money available for projects that restore downtown storefronts to something resembling their original appearance.
Councilman Don Maurer says the city earlier this year awarded $5,000 in bed tax money to the storefront project on West Third Street where the new Magic Mugs coffee shop recently opened. He says that project inspired the city to create guidelines for future applications.
“Once you start dealing with businesses that want to enhance their building, their surroundings and that, you want to be as definitive as possible on what is acceptable and what isn’t, and we don’t want to have any doubt about it,” he says.
Maurer says he isn’t sure how many businesses will take advantage of the grants, but he sees it as beneficial for the stores and the city.
“When you drive down through downtown Dover, you see a lot of beautiful storefronts, and if we can help as per the ordinance dictates, yeah, sure,” he says.
Grants are eligible for up to 50 percent of the total improvement costs. They are not available for normal maintenance or replacement projects.