Interest in CEIP program rising in SH
August 29, 2018
The Sweet Home business community is taking advantage of the city’s new Commercial Exterior Improvement Program.
“We made personal contact with 111 businesses,” said Ray Towry, adding that four have responded with applications.
“We don’t have any approvals yet,” said Community and Economic Development Director Jerry Sorte. “We’ve had an initial response.”
In the program, businesses may be reimbursed up to $5,000 per year for various improvements, Sorte said. For improvements that have an exceptional public benefit, a business may exceed that total.
“I see this as something that could just be available, maybe to rehab an existing building,” Sorte said.
As of last week, the city had received 11 applications, eight of them from one business, the Rio Theater, which has completed a number of exterior upgrades as part of an expansion of the theater to two screens.
The other applicants are Scott Snedeker, who is planning to improve the building at 1200 Main St., which includes multiple units, and Shear Country Salon, 2312 Main St.
A fourth applicant is a business in a residential zone on Long Street and does not qualify for the improvement.
Applications are considered by a committee that includes Mayor Greg Mahler, Dave Bauer, George Medellin and Jo Ann McQueary. Based on a recommendation from the committee, the city manager must sign off on an application. For requests exceeding the $5,000 cap, the mayor must also sign off on the application.
One position remains open on the committee, Towry said. Anyone interested in serving on the committee should call the city manager’s office at (541) 367-8969 or stop by City Hall, 1140 12th Ave.
The committee began meeting on Thursday, Aug. 16, Sorte said.
Elsewhere in the Community and Economic Development Department, plans for improvements at Sankey Park have changed a bit.
The pedestrian bridge is moving down the priority list because the construction cost is higher than city officials had anticipated.
“Initial figures put the project in the $250,000 range,” Sorte said. “That was far more than we were expecting.”
At this point, the Park and Tree Board and city staff are re-evaluating the project and moving on with other priorities.
Staff has rounded up quotes for new restrooms, which will be located closer to the driveway to the main parking area.
The city is planning to move in two pre-fab units, Sorte said. They’ll be ADA-accessible and good for families.
The price is in the $70,000 to $90,000 range, Sorte said. The final price depends on the cost of walkways and connecting to the utilities, which are available at the nearby site of the former caretaker’s residence.
The city will remove the old restrooms and bring in the new ones as soon as it can, Sorte said.
Across the parks, Public Works is working on new benches, signs and garbage cans.