Application Deadline Extended For 2016 Downtown Accessibility Improvement Program

Freeport, Illinois – On October 7th, 2016 the City of Freeport and RAMP announced that the deadline to file an application for the 2016 Downtown Accessibility Program has been extended by one month to November 4th, 2016.

We have an applicant for the program, but additional funding remains and there has been serious interest from other downtown property and business owners who need a little more time to prepare their applications. We are willing to allow them that time, and are extending the deadline accordingly for an additional month. We want to do what we can to facilitate these accessibility improvements to our downtown to the benefit of everyone.” said Mayor Jim Gitz.

The program is designed to provide financial incentives to facilitate improvements that increase the accessibility of buildings located within the Downtown Tax Increment Financing District (Downtown TIF). The grants are provided in recognition that the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of  1990 (ADA) may present compliance challenges for many buildings located in Freeport’s downtown, and that financial assistance may help initiate improvements on behalf of building and business owners. The City has allocated $15,000 for 2016 Downtown Accessibility Improvement Grants with the goal of increasing investment in downtown Freeport and prioritizing barrier removal in order to open doors for
all who live in the community.

Under the program, property or business owners within the Downtown TIF area are eligible to apply for grants of up to 75 percent of the total cost of qualified interior and/or exterior rehabilitation, for a total award amount of up to $7,500. Grant money will be payable as a reimbursement upon completion of the project, subject to project documentation requirements being met.

Application packets may be picked up at City Hall, located on the 3rd floor of 524 W. Stephenson St., or at RAMP’s office at 2155 W. Galena Avenue. The application may also be found online at www.CityOfFreeport.org. The packets include maps indicating the Historic Business District and Downtown TIF District boundaries, as well information as to eligible uses of grant funds please. The timeline below indicates milestones and deadlines for the program: RAMP empowers individuals with disabilities through services and advocacy to live an independent life.

We accomplish this by partnering with them to make changes in their own lives, seek peer support and remove barriers. RAMP advocates for the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for individuals with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access.

RAMP is a United Way Member Agency.

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