Downtown Streetscapes grant improves region’s cities

This art mural in downtown Eveleth was supported by an Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation grant. Photo courtesy of IRRR.

This art mural in downtown Eveleth was supported by an Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation grant. Photo courtesy of IRRR.

The physical appearance of a downtown is important to its economic vitality. Storefront facades, pedestrian and bicycle pathways, landscaping and public spaces are essential for a downtown to sustain and grow.

The Downtown Streetscapes grant assists with projects that promote safe and attractive environments for residents, shoppers, workers and visitors. Three northeastern Minnesota cities were recently awarded grants: • Keewatin—$5,500: Outdoor information kiosk located at the new community center in downtown designed to highlight educational, civic, cultural, recreational and charitable events and activities. • Cook County/Grand Marais—$50,000: Downtown lighting and corridor road and sidewalk renovations in partnership with Minnesota Department of Transportation. • Ely—$50,000: New pocket park and splash pad in a downtown vacant lot.

“The Downtown Streetscapes program is part of our agency’s commitment to the livelihood and stability of our rural communities,” said Commissioner Mark Phillips. “Business corridors and main streets with attractive public spaces and amenities can play a significant role in attracting private sector investment and patrons.”

Approximately $95,000 is still available in the Downtown

Streetscapes grant fund in fiscal year 2019. Communities and nonprofits are encouraged to apply by May 15. The application process is competitive.

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation’s grants are funded through taxes paid by Minnesota’s mining industry. For more information email Whitney Ridlon at whitney.ridlon@state.mn.us or call her at 218-735-3004. View grant information and guidelines at mn.gov/ irrrb/grant-resources/community programs/downtown streetscapes.jsp.

Source: The Ranger, Jan. 10, 2019. The Ranger is a publication of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

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