Glenville to provide a funding match for businesses looking to update their signs
Glenville officials are hoping updated business signs will point the way to economic growth in the town.
To that end, the Glenville Town Board approved the creation of the town’s Business Sign Replacement Program for 2011 during the Wednesday, Feb. 16, meeting. The program will use money appropriated to the Revitalization and Economic Development Investment fund in the 2011 budget to enhance and promote the business community in the town. A total of $35,000 will be used to provide a 50/50 funding match up to $3,000 to replace one on-site sign per business. The focus of the program is to replace signs that are currently out of compliance, and funds will be available until exhausted.
We are looking on working with signs that are out of compliance at this point, said Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant. `We’re going to look at all options, but hopefully we will able to get 11 signs quickly.`
Supervisor Christopher Koetzle said he has been working to implement such a program for some time.
`This has been a program that I have pushed for a while on another board that I was on, and I’m glad we were able to achieve it,` said Koetzle. `I think it is an important step to our business improvement initiatives, and I think it is going to be good for the town, and, of course, we don’t know what necessarily we are going to get, but it is a good start.`
Funding will be given to business upon completion of the new sign, which must be completed and a bill submitted to the town before the end of the year. Also, the funding is competitive, and if there is a high demand for funds, priority will be given to non-conforming signs, business owners that are also the property owner, businesses in high-visibility areas, and if the sign company installer is Glenville-based.
`There are hundreds of signs that are out of compliance in one way or another,` said Michael Burns of the Economic Development and Planning Department. `We have never gone and calculated the actual number out there, but we suspect there is quite a few.`
The application period will start March 1 and end April 29, and while no businesses had contacted the town as of the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 22, since the program was announced, Town Planner Kevin Corcoran said he expects to hear from some soon.
`I expect by the end of the week we will at least be getting calls and questions,` said Corcoran. `We really don’t have an idea of what kind of demand is out there, but we will find out shortly, so it is kind of exciting actually.`
There are around 1,400 businesses in the town, said Corcoran, which includes home-based business. The two busiest roads also see a decent amount of traffic with the lower portion of Freeman’s Bridge Road having around 22,000 cars a day and Route 50 through the center of the town carrying 20,000 cars a day.
In future years, the town might consider continuing the sign grant program if the demand is high enough, said Corcoran, or the town might look into other avenues to stimulate the business community, such as matching funds for sidewalk improvement and tree planting.
`I think it is important to understand this is an investment into our commercial corridors,` said Koetzle. `It is showing business partners we want to invest in them and help them grow in the town.“