The Eagle Pass Main Street program and City Council approved a resolution to improve and change certain guidelines in the facade improvement grant program that will allow the city an ability to lure growth into the city’s downtown area.
EP Main Street Director Joe Cruz presented information before the council during their meeting held on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, in which he detailed what changes were being sought by the programs advisory board.
The Main Street Program was created to assist communities in establishing historic preservation districts and assist small cities to revitalize historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts by developing a public/private effort and utilizing preservation and economic development strategies.
Cruz explained that some of the changes being sought to change in the existing program were to increase the chances of luring businesses and other types of important growth into the heart of downtown.
“The section that I added is other eligibility’s. How do we bring more businesses to the vacancies that we have right now in the downtown area. And how do we increase residency also. We have been talking to people who want to move into the downtown area specifically in the second-floor areas. But yet sometimes to fix those areas is a challenge. When it comes to cost it can discourage the owner of the building to go through the process of creating that living space.” said Cruz.
Cruz explained that one of the changes being sought in the program’s guidelines is to be able to increase matching funds from $10,000 where it currently stands to $15,000 if you create residences in the specified areas.
Cruz also pointed out other issues and challenges that often are costly to property owners which may discourage them from improving their building spaces.