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County Executive Falk Joins Cambridge Officials in Taking Next Step to Revitalize Their Historic Downtown

November 06, 2003
Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
County Executive

Falk announces County BUILD grant to fund plans for new improvements Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk joined Village of Cambridge, Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Committee officials today to announce the awarding of a $20,500 grant from the Dane County Better Urban Infill Development (BUILD) program. The grant, matched equally by the Village, will help fund the next phase of the Village’s downtown revitalization efforts. Falk created the BUILD program 1999 to provide grants to help communities revitalize their downtown areas and neighborhoods. “We treasure Cambridge, with its Victorian storefronts, charming specialty shops and many festivals and fairs,” said Falk, speaking from downtown Cambridge. “These grants help Cambridge citizens keep this unique community a great place to call home, and a great place to visit.” An earlier county BUILD grant of $12,000 in 2002 helped to pay for preparing a downtown master plan. The downtown plan provided a vision for renewing vitality to the downtown through connections to Koshkonong Creek, redevelopment of key downtown properties, making the rear of buildings attractive and accessible, and improving public spaces and the street appearance. The planning effort was also instrumental in working with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to secure a Transportation Enhancement Activity (TEA) grant funds to pay for improving the street and sidewalk area of downtown. “By working together as a community, and partnering with Dane County, we are making our vision a reality,” said Village President Donn Trieloff. “We’re really looking forward to taking the next step to add new theme lighting, landscaping and façade improvements to our downtown,” said Jon Sustarich, President of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and President of Cambridge State Bank. “I look forward to working with individual property owners to carry out the downtown theme.” A state grant is making $2,500 available to individual businesses (up to a total of $25,000) to do building upgrades, and Cambridge State Bank is offering matching 3% low-interest loans to these businesses. The local officials credited the Main Street Committee with hard work in re-invigorating the downtown area. The next step to revitalizing the downtown will focus on specific recommendations of the downtown master plan. The Village’s active Main Street Committee will lead the effort to: · Plan improvements to the North and South Alleys behind Main Street buildings. The plans will show specific improvements to parking, aesthetics, and accessibility to buildings. · Creation of a “way-finding” system. A coordinated system of signs will be developed that direct customers and visitors to parking, rest rooms, shopping, Koshkonong Creek, parks, the Village Administrative Building, Post Office, and other locations. Clear, attractive directions will give visitors a more comfortable and pleasant experience. · Create a Business Improvement District (BID). A BID is a district created under State law that allows property owners in the district to assess themselves to pay for common expenses such as marketing. A dedicated funding source is important to sustaining downtown economic success. # # #