In Colorado, three new Revitalizing Main Streets grants were awarded this week to the Town of Fraser, Town of New Castle and Town of Buena Vista.
“Revitalizing Main Streets is ensuring our small businesses can bounce back, create more jobs, and support our economy. These important grants will help Fraser, New Castle and Buena Vista truly thrive for years to come,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’m so excited to support protecting and enhancing the Colorado way of life with these investments.”
This brings the total Revitalizing Main Streets grant awards to 104 projects statewide and growing. Awarded projects span the entire state, from Denver and Boulder to Hugo and Limon to Frisco and Rifle.
Projects range from facilitating safe pedestrian access to outdoor dining, improved lighting, sidewalk repair, incorporating parklets into streetscapes, and much more.
“The latest awards illustrate the goal of the Revitalizing Main Streets Program: Help communities across the state implement transportation-related projects that improve safety and yield long-term benefits to community main streets,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.
“From safety enhancements to trails and replacing outdated lighting, to creating a space that encourages active transportation; these projects will positively impact each community into the future,” she added.
The new awardees are as follows:
Town of Fraser | Award = $96,749
Project: Fraser Community Park
Add permanent seating, shade structures, and bike infrastructure to a parcel of land that was converted to a temporary gathering place in downtown Fraser during COVID. This will help the space to become a more-permanent fixture that will be accessed by residents and visitors looking for outdoor space and using the biking and hiking trails nearby.
“The Town of Fraser is excited to receive funding from CDOT. The money is being used to revitalize an empty lot in the middle of town,” said Town of Fraser Marketing and Communications Manager Sarah Wieck. “We feel the additions will improve the feel of the downtown area and provide a space for the local community and tourists to gather, take a break from hiking and biking the surrounding trails or enjoy a bite to eat from one of the surrounding restaurants.”
Town of New Castle | Award = $57,994
Project: Guardrail Safety Enhancement
Improve safety along a multimodal trail by replacing a section of guardrail where the trail nears a curve in the highway. The trail connects cyclists and pedestrians safely from their homes to fundamental services such as employment, medical care, shopping, and mass transportation.
“New Castle is excited to work with the CDOT Revitalizing Main Streets Grant Program and is thankful for the opportunity to improve the safety of our trail users and traveling public along the Talbott Trail and County Road 335,” said New Castle Town Administrator David Reynolds. “We look forward to executing this project, and sincerely appreciate this grant award.”
Town of Buena Vista | Award = $149,999
Project: Streetlight Replacement Project
Replace all of the aging and inoperable street lights along Main Street. With COVID, more residents and visitors have been frequenting downtown for daily outdoor activity. In one way or another, everyone frequents this part of town for commerce, people watching, passive outdoor recreation, and other uses including physical minimum spacing.
“Buena Vista has put a lot of effort into our downtown, making it evermore welcoming to people and creating a community feel. Part of this has been to encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic throughout town. As the downtown has become more appealing and has attracted more people, activity now extends further into the evening and early morning,” said Buena Vista Special Projects Manager Joel Benson.
“This grant allows the Town to create more uniform lighting by replacing its hodgepodge of lights with consistent lighting and makes downtown and some key public areas safer for our residents and visitors,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the Town of Frisco is preparing to open it’s Pedestrian Promenade for the summer which turns three blocks of Frisco Main Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue into a pedestrian and bike-only area and includes parklets funded by a Revitalizing Main Streets grant. This is the first summer the parklets will be in use during the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade as they were first installed in fall of 2020.
Even at 9,000 feet in elevation and with snow piling up, the parklets were well loved all winter and used for both restaurant and retail businesses. The parklets have been a popular addition to Frisco’s Main Street since installation and are expected to help make the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade even more effective this summer. The Frisco Pedestrian Promenade opens the evening of June 18 and more information can be found at FriscoGov.com.
The Revitalizing Main Streets grants help localities improve their roadways and community infrastructure, supporting strong economic activity and public safety. The program began last summer in an effort to mitigate the negative economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
The continuation and expansion of this program was made possible through a $30 million allocation from the state legislature in March 2021 and those funds are currently available for local government competition, with significant anticipated demand. Importantly, the passage of SB-260 further extends this highly successful program beyond the current grant cycle.
Communities can apply for small grants up to $150,000 for multimodal and economic resiliency projects available on a rolling basis; large grant applications of up to $2 million closed on May 14.
Featured photo courtesy of the Town of Buena Vista.