Business District Revitalization Effort
As part of the Business District Renovation & Development effort, the City of Seymour is offering matching grants to local businesses and building owners through the Business Façade/Signage/Beautification Grant Program. The “Business District Plan” defines the boundaries, which is available for review in the City Hall. We are also in the beginning stages of developing a park area across from the Whiteside Museum of Natural History as an additional downtown tourist attraction. The Seymour Sound Garden is seeking funding from the Priddy Foundation and Texas Parks & Wildlife to bring this endeavor to life. The City of Seymour is also looking forward to utilizing the concrete planters to provide uniformed planting scheme downtown.
Business Façade/Signage/Beautification Grant Program
Façade/Signage/Beautification grant renovation can be used on an exterior portion of the building that is visible to the public. Façade Grant money may not be used for interior renovations or roof repair. Specific suggestions for improvements are listed (but not limited to) these below:
- Façade facelift: Painting/trim work, including touches, such as gingerbread, & stained glass windows.
- Front porch addition/enhancement
- Window boxes, decorative planters, gazebos, trellises, arches, fountains, and statuary.
- Appropriate benches, porch swings, gliders, rocking chairs for public/customer use.
- Awning or other shading/weather proofing that allows public/customers relief from inclimate weather
- Appropriate signage that is visible to public and with traffic in mind
- Window and door replacement and/or repair
Applications will be accepted starting October 1st, 2015 until all allocated funds are distributed or until the end of that fiscal year, September30, 2016 . An initial period of three weeks for submission of applications will be granted before formal review of applications. This period will commence after one month prior notification via newspaper, newsletter, and mailed out cards to all business and building owners. The grant recipients will be notified by a member of the Review Committee in a timely manner. Work must begin within 90 days of acceptance of grant and should be complete or significantly under progress within 6 months of the issuance of said grant.
The grant application must include a recent price quote from either an architect or licensed contractor unless grant monies are to be used in a manner in which giving product quotes is more viable to the selection process. This quote shall be utilized only for the purpose of determining the amount of grant needed for the project and any costs incurred in obtaining the quote shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant, not the City of Seymour.
A review committee comprised of Seymour Community Development Corporation members shall review Grant application and recommendations will be presented to the City Council of Seymour for approval. The City Council, in its sole discretion, will award grants. The Council is not obligated to award any grants if, in its sole discretion, none are submitted that meet the criteria.
Total Grant request may not exceed $1,000 with matching funds of $1,000 from applicant. Applicant can elect to provide more than 50% if a higher dollar amount improvement is desired. The matching funds will be limited to the maximum of $1,000 per business/building owner. The allocated funds will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis after an initial three week period for submissions.
Payment of grant funds shall be a reimbursement after work is satisfactorily completed to the terms of the application and grant authorization. Copies of all invoices must be submitted to receive reimbursement.
Any improvements completed under the Business Façade Grant program shall become permanent fixtures of the building. They may not be removed by the business owner in the event of the closing or sale of the business or the sale of the building without the express written consent of the City of Seymour. This provision shall not apply if a future change is made to the building for the purpose of further renovation that will enhance the redevelopment of the downtown area.
The “Seymour Sound Garden” Pocket Park Project
Seymour has recently become the home of the Whiteside Museum of Natural History showcasing the fossils found in Seymour and keeping them in Seymour. In it’s first year of operation, the museum welcomed more than 5,000 visitors. Across the street and in between the Seymour City Hall building and Seymour Volunteer Fire Department there is an undeveloped “Pocket Park” area. It is our goal to make an inviting place for locals and guests alike to rest, socialize, work, and play with a special emphasis on child development, special needs play, and handicap accessibility.
The feature of this park is the Freenotes Harmony Park sound equipment. Designed to enhance the physical and mental development through the exploration of sound, Freenotes are accessible to people with physical and developmental disabilities. “Only the simplest of motor skills are needed to activate pure harmonies ensuring success for all players. Providing gratifying musical experiences in public places builds confidence and self-esteem.” These musical instruments appeal to everyone, from young to old, whether they have a disability or not. A similar version of these instruments can be found at the Perot Museum in Dallas Texas. One of our goals is to entice those visiting the museum to enjoy some outside time together and allow their children to experience a new sensory form of play. Another goal is to encourage the local community to do the same and interact with the visitors.
Seymour is also home to the Randall Wellness Center (a mental health treatment program center for senior adults), multiple daycares, 1A School with special needs children, and a nursing home. All of these establishments can make use of the “Pocket Park” as a form of therapy or a fun field trip. The “Pocket Park” would supply a need in the community for handicap accessible outdoor play.
The sound equipment will also be accompanied by ample seating areas, tables, outdoor game tables, and plenty of area to walk, run, and play. We will also be offering this park as a free Wifi Hot Spot to encourage an outdoor office space and youth interaction. Specially designed tables will be incorporated to integrate handicap accessibility. We will also be introducing native landscaping and a water reclamation program to encourage local conservatism and to make the park a low-impact maintenance area. We will be able to promote this park as a conservation effort as well as adding to the quality of life to our community.
For more information, please contact Lauren Bush, Economic Development Director, at 940-889-3148 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.