Green Bay curb appeal program to focus on Shipyard neighborhood

GREEN BAY, Wis (WBAY) -- Property owners in neighborhoods near the Shipyard project in Green Bay will have a new opportunity.

They'll have a chance to take advantage of the city’s first curb appeal grant program.

The money will be provided through Community Development Block Grants and Neighborhood Enhancement Funds as an incentive for people to fix up the outside of their homes.

“We really didn’t have any kind of program to deal with that, so the curb appeal program was really an implementation item from that strategy. That would fill that gap and assist homeowners in doing those… smaller type projects,” David Buck, principal planner for the city, said.

The city is focusing on the area between Walnut Street and South 6th Street from the Fox River to Ashland Avenue.

“Generally it’s kind of been cut off from the rest of the city. If you look at Ashland Avenue, Mason Street and the railroad tracks, it doesn't necessarily get a lot of attention,” Development Director Kevin Vonck said.

Planners are considering it to be a pilot program.

“Some of the things we found when we did our sidewalk survey of property: gravel driveways or driveways that needed to be repaired, overgrown landscaping or lack thereof, peeling paint, minor things that overall make a big impact,” Buck said.

It’s a matching grant program, with the property owner putting in 25% of the funds.

Grants will be provided for three different categories of projects and be tiered in funding depending on the type of projects.

Project categories include landscaping, with a maximum grant of $1,000; exterior building/structure rehabilitation, with a maximum grant of $2,500 and site improvements, with a maximum grant of $5,000.

“There is the match, which is intentional so you have a little bit of buy-in as a homeowner or property owner. It's easy to take a grant that's just a grant and not follow through or not maintain,” said Buck.

The funds are earmarked for $1 million over the next three years.

Money will be distributed on a first come-first serve basis.

Applications will be made available in the near future.

“We have initially seeded the program with $50,000. We'll see where that goes. If in the second year we need to increase that amount because it's extremely successful, we can look at doing that as well,” said Buck.

On July 17, there will be an open house for the Shipyard Project at Old Fort Square during the Farmer's Market along Broadway.

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