The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Two businesses initial city CEIP grant recipients


September 26, 2018

THE RIO Theater, owned by Thomas Baham, has received grant funding from the city for exterior improvements.

The City of Sweet Home is funding two projects through its Commercial Exterior Improvement Program.

The CEIP review committee approved $10,000 for Thomas Baham, who is upgrading the Rio Theater, 1439 Main St. Baham had submitted eight applications.

His projects include park improvements behind the theater off Long Street and exterior improvements on a neighboring building Baham is remodeling for a second theater screen.

The second award went to Scott Snedeker, who is planning to improve buildings at 1200 through 1206 Main St., located on the northeast corner of the intersection of 12th Avenue and Main Street.

Community and Economic Development Director Jerry Sorte said that Snedeker is planning to install an awning and paint the buildings. He estimates that the city will reimburse close to $5,000 for the project.

In the program, businesses may be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost of a project but no more than $5,000 per year for various improvements.

For improvements that have an exceptional public benefit, a business may exceed that total.

Applications are considered by a committee that includes Mayor Greg Mahler, downtown business owner Dave Bauer, George Medellin of the Chamber of Commerce, and local citizen 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.

The committee found that the Rio Theatre project provided an exceptional public benefit, resulting in the $10,000 grant.

The program is funded from the city's economic development line item in its General Fund.

The budget has a total of $475,000 for economic development projects.

The city has received two new applications, one for signage at Thriftway, 621 Main St., and another by Henry Wolthuis for facade and lighting improvements at the laundromat Cascade Cleaners and Laundry, 1030 Long St.

"We'll probably be able to make a determination as soon as we can get the committee together," Sorte said.

He said it took some time to work out the CEIP application process for the initial applicants, but in general, with the system in place now, the city should be able to move through the process within three weeks of receiving an application.

For more information about the Commercial Exterior Improvement Program, call the Community and Economic Development Department at (541) 367-8113.

One position remains open on the committee.

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.


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