Helping heritage in Carbonear
Council speaks on grants, dilapidated buildings on Water Street
Carbonear Deputy Mayor Chris O’Grady brought forward a concept for supporting heritage infrastructure that the rest of council was unanimously on board with.
The Town of Carbonear hopes their adoption of a new program will see older properties in the downtown area spiffed up.
At the regular meeting of council on Tuesday, Nov. 13, the finance committee outlined a proposal for a Heritage Financial Incentive Program, with the municipality providing grants to property owners.
Deputy Mayor Chris O’Grady said the program could aid in the beautification of the Water Street area, which is part of Carbonear’s downtown revitalization project.
O’Grady explained grants are aimed at property improvements, repairing things like siding that would improve the appearance of buildings.
A total of $10,000 has been budgeted for the program. The grant would offer property owners up to 25 per cent of material and labour costs, with a maximum of $2,000 per building, per calendar year. He added that no single person can receive more than two grants in a four-year period.
There are other stipulations as well.
“No development shall take place which would alter the appearance of the area, or individual buildings within it, in a manner that would be inconsistent with their appearance at the time that they were initially constructed,” O’Grady explained at the council meeting.
He said council’s aim, through the revitalization project for Water Street, is to maintain the original and historic character of the buildings in that area.
During the discussion, Coun. Amanda Hulan noted the area has some dilapidated buildings, which she says are having a negative effect on the area. She says even if the new grants program sees some properties improved, council will still have to deal with the more dilapidated buildings.
Coun. Danielle Doyle said she hopes this program will give those particular property owners an incentive to clean up their properties.
“That is a bit of an issue – we do have some properties here that are not well maintained,” O’Grady agreed. “Through public works, we have reached out to some of those owners, and written letters and things as well, so that’s also something we’re working on. Hoping to see those properties cleaned up, maintained, or sold, or anything.”
Council voted, unanimously, in favor of adopting the Heritage Financial Incentive Program.