Briefline

Communities across Colorado awarded Main Street program grants

By: - September 9, 2021 3:55 pm
Glenwood Springs

The city of Glenwood Springs received a Multimodal and Economic Resiliency Grant to expand outdoor dining areas, as part of the Revitalizing Main Streets Program. (Courtesy of Gov. Jared Polis’ office)

Seventy-one communities across Colorado are benefiting from the state’s Main Street program, according to a Sept. 8 press release.

The program was developed to guide local efforts to improve downtowns. In addition, the Colorado Department of Transportation developed the Revitalizing Main Streets grant program in 2020 as a way to support infrastructure projects that “provide open spaces for mobility, community activities, and economic development in areas in or adjacent to downtowns in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency,” according to the press release. Grants from this program help communities improve infrastructure and support strong economic activity and public safety, according to the program’s website

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Hugo, a statutory town in eastern Colorado, was awarded a grant from the Revitalizing Main Streets program, which allowed the town to add benches and bike racks to the Main Street District, as well as add 25 mph speed limit signs in the residential zones, according to the press release. 

Glenwood Springs
The city of Glenwood Springs received a Multimodal and Economic Resiliency Grant to expand outdoor dining areas, as part of the Revitalizing Main Streets Program. (Courtesy of Gov. Jared Polis’ office)

“(The past year has been) an incredible experience in leadership and support from the Colorado Main Street office, providing us with a proven direction for towns like ours who want to survive and need the help,” said Hugo Main Street Manager Gillian Laylock in the press release. 

La Junta, located in southeastern Colorado, was awarded funds to convert a vacant lot into a “dynamic park.” Lamar, in eastern Colorado, received two $50,000 grants from the Revitalizing Main Streets program to add infrastructure improvements to the city, such as bike trail connections and sidewalk accessibility. 

On March 19, Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill to provide an additional $30 million to support the program.

“Today was an important step forward for Colorado communities,” Polis said in a March press release. “This last year, we know many Colorado businesses faced incredible challenges and our main streets looked emptier than normal. This bill provides essential resources to help communities make improvements like expanding outdoor seating, adding new lighting, or making sidewalks more accessible.” 

“This program’s early success and strong demand from local communities shows the need for additional, sustainable resources,” said Colorado Transportation Commission Chair Karen Stuart in the press release.

In March, CDOT re-launched the program with two grants. The first grant was for “larger safety infrastructures” projects. There were 72 applications for the grant, which opened in March and closed on May 14. Of those applications, the CDOT selected 16 transportation projects and awarded almost $22 million, according to the program’s website

Awardees for this grant included the cities of Aurora, Pueblo, Greeley and Colorado Springs. 

The second grant is for “small multimodal and economic resiliency projects” that improve public spaces for low-income and disadvantaged people, promote public health by encouraging social distancing, and encourage active, multimodal transportation, such as installing bike racks, according to the program’s website.

The second opportunity for a grant is still open and applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis until all the funds are awarded. 

Part of the Main Street program is paid for by a History Colorado State Historical Fund grant, according to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs website

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