Downtown Enhancement Grants

Purpose

The Downtown Enhancement Grant (DEG) program is designed to foster innovative approaches to activities, which support and promote community based planning, pre-development, and research initiatives. The goal of these projects is to improve the quality of life and opportunities for increasing private investment and employment in Indiana Main Street (IMS) communities. The Downtown Enhancement Grant priorities are directed by OCRA’s strategic plan and the National Main Street Four Point Approach.

DEG Information Sheet

DEG Awardees announced, December 7, 2017:

The City of Attica is awarded $10,000 for a community streetscape project.  The community matched their request with $21,481.20 of local match.  The lead applicant is Attica Main Street and partners include the City of Attica, Historic Landmarks of Fountain County, Inc., and Western Indiana Community Foundation. The project will include adding benches, planters, trash containers and bike racks throughout downtown to create a warmer, friendlier and more inviting place to be.  It is the hope that through these small projects the community will inspire more individuals to further utilize the downtown.

The Town of Churubusco is awarded $10,000 for an alley activation project. The community matched their request with $26,505 of local match.  The lead applicant is Main Street Churubusco and the partners include the Town of Churubusco, Churubusco Elementary School, Churubusco Chamber of Commerce, and local business Ashley Johnson Realty. The project includes the project titled the Franklin Promenade walkway, a name chosen through a Facebook campaign to name the project.  The project will feature a mural to depict the naming of the town (named at the time after a recently won battle in the Mexican-American War titled the Battle of Churubusco), transformation of a dark and ill maintained alleyway through adding lighting, sidewalks, benches, trash receptacles, and landscaping and will feature a 2003 completed mural by a local high school student.  

The Town of Greentown is awarded $7,056 for wayfinding signage.  The community matched their request with $10,584 of local match.  The lead applicant is the Greentown Main Street Association and partners include the Town of Greentown, Howard County Government, and regional designer Kaley Harness.  The community wayfinding signage will include community destinations such as the Eastern County Schools, Fairgrounds, the Comet Trail, Eastern Howard Performing Arts Center, City Hall and the local glass museum.  The sign design will complement the community as well as meet all INDOT requirements.

Further information about the Downtown Enhancement Grants:
Go to the Resources section below for the Application.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • An OCRA designated Main Street Community
  • Submitted an approved Community Assessment and been found to be an eligible organization
  • Someone from the organization must have attended an OCRA conference or OCRA Main Street Exchange in the year 2015 or 2016
  • Organization may be operated with paid or volunteer staffing
  • Applicant must be in good standing with the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Revenue
  • Have at least one partner with another community organization (application will go into details but there must be a minimum of two parties involved. For example, a community organization and the Main Street organization)
  • Lead applicant must be the Main Street Organization
  • Cannot have received a DEG in their community since January 1, 2014 or have an open DEG award

List of Previously Funded DEG Communities

Project Eligibility

Qualifying projects are ones which promote economic development in the downtown areas and will enhance the quality of life in the community. Ideal projects could include, but are not limited to: façade renovations or rehabilitations, creation of wayfinding signage, streetscape/landscaping, mural restoration and other more permanent initiatives as they relate to the grant purpose. Eligible projects must have a 1:1.5 match with a minimum of 1:1 being cash match and the other 0.5 comprised of eligible in-kind and/or cash.

Funding and Distribution

  • Grant requests between $5,000 and $10,000 will be accepted
  • Eligible projects must have a 1:1.5 match with a minimum of 1:1 being cash match and the other 0.5 comprised of eligible in-kind and cash
  • Federal and other state funds may not be used as local match
  • Philanthropic foundations, especially community foundations, are strongly encouraged to participate and provide cash match
  • Favorable consideration is given to projects that engage youth in the planning or design process

Resources

If you have questions about this program or need other assistance, please contact your OCRA Community Liaison.