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November 17, 2022

Waterville grant program now open to help revamp downtown businesses

Alexis Wells Downtown Waterville road construction

A local grant program is accepting applications from business owners who want to help improve the visual appeal of downtown Waterville storefronts by restoring the buildings to their original, historic exteriors and boost the businesses' appearance.

Since the Central Maine Growth Council's Facade and Building Improvement Grant began in 2019, the initiative has stimulated development while distributing funds for various exterior building improvements and elements to increase downtown vibrancy. The program, funded by Colby College and the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation in the amount of $60,000 for the 2022-23 grant cycle, reimburses up to 50% of the total estimated project budget.  

"Waterville's Facade and Building Improvement grant program's fourth cycle comes when the city is completing several transformational downtown projects," said Central Maine Growth Council Economic Development Specialist Gabe Gauvin. "This grant funding is particularly impactful, through eliciting additional private investment into the preservation and restoration of Main Streets' historic storefronts and businesses."

The program has distributed 22 grants totaling more than $2.1 million since it was launched three years ago.

"The facade grant program supports downtown Waterville with the ability to enhance the city's visual appearance and attract new streetscaping amenities, tenants, residents and investment into the community," said Central Maine Growth Council Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development Garvan Donegan.

Grant applications are due by 5 p.m. Dec. 22; winning projects are expected to be announced Jan. 5. Details can be found here.

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