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Posted on: October 9, 2020

Local businesses can benefit from Town vitalization grant

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A local business has a brand new look thanks to a lot of hard work and a little financial help from the Town’s Vitalization Grant Program.

Blaine Dimler and Margaret Kostrzycki recently completed exterior work on their building located at 9902 100 Avenue in Downtown High Level. The building is home to Caesars Liquor Store, Mister Cutts Barber Shop, and High Level Indoor Golf. The renovations will be partially offset by a $20,000 grant through the Town of High Level Vitalization Grant Program.

Vitalization Grant 01Mayor Crystal McAteer was on hand to deliver the Vitalization Grant Program cheque in person, and said she was thrilled with the work done on the building.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “We’re trying to revitalize our downtown and make it a nice, appealing place for everyone. Façade is a really important part of that.”

Blaine and Margaret purchased the building in 2013 and have been improving it since that time. This year, after years of improvements on the interior of the building, they decided a completely new exterior was needed.

“This year, looking at the exterior, we just decided to bite the bullet and get it done,” said Blaine.

“We had been thinking about it for a long time, but it was an expensive process and you always have your budget (to consider),” said Margaret.

Exterior improvements include a new storefront façade, extensive stucco around the entire building, new trim, and signage upgrades. There was also additional paving work to improve the property and nearby drainage. Gone are the old exterior fluorescent lights in favour of more modern led lighting.

“It’s very bright at night,” said Blaine. “And we’re more energy efficient.”

Blaine and Margaret have done most of the work themselves and contracted locally when they could not. They say they are very happy with the results.

Vitalization Grant 03“It’s been a lot of work and we were very happy to do it,” said Blaine. “What we have done to this place has been very well received.”

Blaine and Margaret said the $20,000 they have received from the Town of High Level Vitalization Grant Program will be very helpful in covering the costs of all the work that has been done.

“These projects may not seem like a lot, but they really add up,” said Blaine.

McAteer noted the Vitalization Grant Program has been available to community businesses located in the Downtown Core and Highway Commercial District for the past five years, but that it has been under-utilized by many businesses.

“It’s really important for people to know this grant is available,” she said. “If they want to fix up their buildings, this grant is there to help. It can really help with some of the costs.”

“It’s amazing, the comments you hear,” said Blaine. “When you start upgrading your building and making it aesthetically pleasing, people take notice. They appreciate being able to go somewhere and feeling good about where they are going.”

“You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions are very important,” added Margaret.

The Town of High Level Vitalization Grant establishes financial support to local b businesses and organizations located in the Downtown Core and Highway Commercial District who wish to enhance the exterior appearance of their building to meet the Design Guidelines of the Town of High Level. The goal is to assist with revitalization efforts to improve the experience for visitors to the core by increasing the aesthetic appeal of the area.

Vitalization Grant 05Businesses may apply for up 50 per cent of project costs up to a maximum of $20,000 with a three-year commitment from the Town that a rebate will be issued equivalent to any tax payment increase due to a property tax assessment increase.

For more information on the Town of High Level Vitalization Grant Program, please contact the Town of High Level at 780-821-4000.

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