PARMA, Ohio — For roughly 15 years, Parma has focused a portion of its federal Neighborhood Growth Block Grant (CDBG) funds towards streetscaping tasks across the metropolis.
Not solely does that initiative proceed this 12 months, however there are two particular tasks which are tied on to financial improvement.
“It’s a slowly-but-surely methodology,” Parma Neighborhood Providers & Financial Growth Director Erik Tollerup mentioned. “We prefer to take our block grant dollars and go into our business districts, retail districts and do what we will to enhance and beautify these areas for the companies to maintain them sustainable and vibrant.
“We additionally use it as a method of financial improvement,” he mentioned. “We’ve got two cases this 12 months the place we use our block grant cash with the promise of enhancing the property to get to 2 companies to enter that location as a result of it cuts their prices.”
These two tasks embody the brand new RTA and Plain Vendor credit score union at 5341 Pearl Street and Harb Safety Programs at 5211 Brookpark Street. The latter is a former Payless ShoeSource retailer the place the town labored with the owner, who improved the inside of the vacant constructing.
This 12 months, Parma is scheduled to obtain roughly $980,000 in CDBG funding, with round $180,000 earmarked for streetscape tasks.
Tollerup mentioned this fall, the mixed $40,000 streetscape plan for the Pearl and Brookpark highway places name for brand spanking new curbs, brick scape, sidewalks, bushes and probably grass.
“We attempt to search for tasks the place either side can profit from the cash, the place the town can make investments and preserve storefronts occupied,” Tollerup mentioned. “If we didn’t underwrite a few of these enhancements, they’d by no means get performed. So it’s, once more, closing the hole to make financial improvement occur.”
Mayor Tim DeGeeter added: “These are win-win conditions. Erik and his workplace have taken what was most likely going to be a vacant constructing for some time and turned that into upgrades and new companies in there.”
Remaining CDBG funds earmarked for streetscaping will proceed to focus on the Ukrainian and Polish village areas of the town with new poles, banners, flowerpots and bushes.
“It’s all about beautification and aesthetics to assist enterprise,” Tollerup mentioned.
DeGeeter added: “Every year, now we have continued enhancements within the space. It’s not one large challenge, but it surely’s form of ongoing. I do know residents who dwell close by, in addition to these enterprise homeowners seeing these enhancements by the years, respect the hassle.”
As for the lion’s share of federal funds, the town has scheduled what Tollerup known as a “strong blight-elimination program” this 12 months.
“Residents who’ve dilapidated garages and are perhaps fascinated about constructing a brand new one, however are hampered by the prices of demolishing the previous one, we go in and try this without spending a dime,” Tollerup mentioned.
“We’ve got seven garages, together with a small cottage house, we’re demolishing for individuals. That will get the eyesores out of the neighborhoods and promotes new improvement, new garages getting into.”
Learn extra information from the Parma Sun Post.