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  4.       
City Council Regular Meeting
Meeting Date: 04/05/2022  

BACKGROUND
On December 11, 2018, the City Council approved Resolution 18-R-152, creating the Schertz Main Street Local Flavor Economic Development Program. The program was amended on June 25, 2019, via Resolution 19-R-74. The Schertz Main Street Local Flavor Economic Development Program is intended to encourage and expansion and attract small businesses that create local charm and help develop a sense of place in and around Main Street, promote commercial development, stabilize and improve property values, foster civic pride, and protect and enhance the attractiveness of the Main Street area to residents and visitors. The Schertz Main Street Local Flavor Economic Development Program enhances other city efforts to improve, beautify, and promote economic development in the Main Street area.
  
Funding for the Schertz Main Street Local Flavor Economic Development Program is provided annually through the City’s General Fund. Funds are made available on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The program also stipulated that grants will not be provided for work already completed or which has begun prior to the approval of the grant application.  Funds are provided on a 50/50 matching basis, in-kind contributions may be counted toward the matching requirement. All improvements must conform to City regulations and building codes and receive advance approval by the City Council. All grants are paid out upon completion of the project. The City has paid out almost $245,000 in local flavor grants and almost $75,000 in historic grants over the life of both programs. 

The proposed change limits the amount of funding in grants one property can receive over a five-year period to $40,000 and eliminate the maximum annual cap of $20,000. Currently, the program caps the maximum amount of grants one property can receive in one year at $20,000, but there is no restriction on owners seeking a new grant each year. Given the scope and cost of improvements, applicants were having to stagger projects over the two years to get two years worth of grants. The amendment also provides for a grant for new construction of up to $60,000, but this is provided at a one to four matching basis so to get the full $60,000 a property owners would have to spend $240,000 of their own money that is not reimbursed (total cost of $300,000). Staff originally proposed the cap at $50,000, but given construction cost increases is recommending it be $60,000.
 
GOAL
To amend the local flavor grant program to encourage more property owners in the Main Street corridor to utilize the program.
COMMUNITY BENEFIT
The program was created after the City Council heard from residents, business owners and community organizations. As has been the past practice new programs or ordinances are monitored and amended to increase their effectiveness. 
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED ACTION
Staff recommends approval of the resolution amending the Schertz Local Flavor Main Street Local Flavor Economic Development Program. 
FISCAL IMPACT
The proposed change limits the amount of funding in grants one property can receive over a five-year period to $40,000. Currently, the program caps the maximum amount of grants one property can receive in one year at $20,000, but there is no restriction on owners seeking a new grant each year. The amendment also provides for a grant for new construction of up to $60,000, but this is provided at a one to four matching basis so to get the full $60,000 a property owners would have to spend $240,000 of their own money that is not reimbursed (total cost of $300,000).
RECOMMENDATION
Approval of Resolution 22-R-38.
Attachments
Res 22-R-38
Draft Amended Local Flavor Grant Program

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