2018 ‘Main Street’ improvement fund application period open

PROVIDENCE – The application period for the third round of funding from the Main Street Rhode Island Streetscape Improvement Fund is open, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced Wednesday.

The fund awards competitive grants and loans for improvements to important commercial districts in the state.

This round of funding has $500,000 available for projects. Raimondo also included another $500,000 in her proposed fiscal 2019 budget.

This year, there are three rolling deadlines for applications: April 12, June 12 and Aug. 10.

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“Small businesses are at the heart of our state’s economy, and as such, are at the core of our efforts,” said R.I. Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor in a statement. “These programs seek to reduce the difficulty of doing business in Rhode Island and to revitalize ‘Main Streets’ across our state, helping our small businesses succeed and grow.”

More information on the Main Street Rhode Island Streetscape Improvement Fund can be found at the R.I. Commerce Corp.’s website.

To date, 19 projects have been funded by the Main Street initiative, including:

Fiscal 2016: 10 projects for a total of $999,400

  • Bristol: $80,000 for directional signage
  • Central Falls: $300,000 for façade improvements along Dexter Street, a public art installation, and the provision of free public Wi-Fi within the commercial district.
  • East Greenwich: $32,400 for sidewalk repair and street tree improvements
  • ONE Neighborhood Builders: $196,000 for structural upgrades to bus stops
  • Pawtucket: $245,000 for the replacement of derelict storefronts, installation of a directions station, the implementation of a two-way traffic pattern and lighting upgrades in a garage.
  • The Providence Foundation: $76,000 for directional signage.
  • Woonsocket: $70,000 for landscaping installations and the creation of drop-off areas and handicap accessibility, as well as curb upgrades

Fiscal 2017 –nine projects for a total of $1 million

  • Bristol – $42,855 for Wood Street improvements
  • East Providence – $75,000 for landscaping, lighting, and façade upgrades in Watchemoket Square
  • Jamestown – $65,000 for East Ferry landscaping, crosswalks, paving and stone seating walls
  • North Kingstown – $204,4000 for Wickford Waterfront Vision
  • Providence – $189,145 for decorative lighting in downtown and improvements along Broad Street
  • Smithfield – $11,075 for Bus shelters and signage
  • Warren – $203,315 for Water Street lighting and street trees
  • Warwick – $69,000 for West Shore Road crosswalks
  • Westerly – $140,210 for Downtown sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signage.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.