The focus is economic development, specifically a stronger tax base and tourism.
By STEPHANIE UJHELYI
SEBRING -- Council approved four ordinances on its way toward implementing Sebring's downtown revitalization program.
Monday, council members unanimously directed municipal Manager Teddy Ryan Jr. to apply for grants and loans that would provide financial assistance with enhancements to 15th Street and Ohio Avenue, as well as grants for assistance with commercial and residential projects in the program.
The project's consulting firm, EG & amp;G Inc. of Akron is heading a revitalization on 15th Street from West Georgia to West Maryland, and on both Ohio and Oregon from 14th to 16th Streets.
Services address overall appearance of downtown, accessibility, traffic circulation, parking and building facades.
Goals: The focus is economic development, specifically increasing the value of locations and resulting in a stronger tax base and tourism.
Ryan will pursue grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation and file for Local Transportation Improvement Program funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
Council also authorized Ryan to apply to Mahoning County for funding under the Community Development Block Grant program. If approved, these funds can be packaged along with Small Business Administration funds to assist commercial property owners with upgrades.
Council voted to execute a note with Sky Bank for a $100,000 revolving loan fund for the project. This would focus on helping with residential property upgrades that would be ineligible for assistance through CDBG and SBA funds.
Other matters: In other action, council passed a resolution naming the northeast corner of Oregon Avenue and 15th Street "Schreckengost Place." The property, which will be "a people place" in midst of the Sebring's shopping district, was named in honor of Sebring residents Victor and Donald Schreckengost.
Another resolution was passed 4-2 designating the site of the veterans memorial a permanent site, memorializing and commemorating all veterans.
Council members Ted Smail and Dawn Postiy, who voted against this resolution, have long expressed the belief that the property should be deeded over completely from the municipality to a local veterans organization.