CPI offering facade matching grants


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill business owners looking to improve their building facades can get a hand––and some cash––from Cobleskill Partnership Inc.
The downtown improvement group is offering matching grants and other help for commercial property owners planning outdoor painting and repairs.
“Main Street has needed a little sprucing up for some time,” said CPI President Brian Kaiser, whose group has committed $15,000 to the project. “Maybe this will help people thinking about working on their buildings.”
Grants are 50 percent of the documented cost up to a maximum of $750 per project. If a project cost $3,000, for instance, the owner could receive $750.
Any commercial building in the “target area” may apply for a grant: Main Street between Center Street and Veterans’ Drive and the side streets of Union, Division, Park Place, North Grand up to Chapel Street and South Grand to the railroad overpass.
“It’s a fairly small area, and it’s kind of a trial run,” Mr. Kaiser said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
CPI has arranged to have discounted prices on painting supplies from Noble Ace Hardware and Kelley’s True Value Hardware. The group has also lined up painting crews and has estimates for work on several buildings.
“We’re not asking business owners to put this together on their own,” Mr. Kaiser said. “This is a package deal. We’re going to make it as easy as we can.
“This is not a bells and whistles grant program. It’s not complicated.”
Improvements that qualify for grants are to a building’s façade that can be seen from the street, such as painting, masonry work, awnings, exterior or window sign upgrades, lighting and others.
Interior improvements do not qualify, and residential properties are not included in the program.
All grants are subject to CPI’s approval. The organization will award the grants on a first-come, first-served basis until the $15,000 is spent.
Mr. Kaiser, CPI Vice President John Sagendorf and Streetscape Committee Chairman Tim Snyder will be visiting businesses this week to explain the matching grants.
There will also be a meeting May 6 at 5pm at Coby’s to describe the program.
“This is consistent with CPI’s mission to attract people downtown and help businesses,” Mr. Kaiser said. “It’s a logical attempt to help downtown Cobleskill.”
Applications for the matching grants are available at The Studio for Art and Craft on Main Street and the Times-Journal on Division Street.
Anyone with questions can call Mr. Kaiser at 231-0081.