Central Business District Accessibility Improvement Grant Program

1.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this grant program is to establish guidelines and procedures for the administration and implementation of the Central Business District Accessibility Improvement Grant Program designed to finance the renovation or alteration of downtown buildings to enhance the accessibility of the structures to those with mobility impairments

2.  ELIGIBILITY

To improve the handicapped accessibility of structures within the Central Business District CBD), grants awarded under this program may be used for the alteration or renovation of the entryway, doorway or other public access to the participating structure.

3.  CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS / PRESERVATION

3.1  All renovations or alterations must be completed in conformance with the codes, standards and practices required by the municipal ordinance, state statute, Federal rule or law.

3.2  When required by ordinance, the Heritage Preservation Commission shall review and approve the exterior renovation or alteration to any property located within the Heritage Preservation Overlay district as identified in the adopted Zoning Code.

3.3  All renovation or alterations to structures within the Heritage Preservation Overlay district shall be undertaken in a manner consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Renovation and Rehabilitation of Historic Structures.

4.  GRANT RESTRICTIONS

4.1  Individual grants awarded under this program shall be limited to $25,000 per Central Business District property.

4.2  Property owners chosen to participate in this program shall guarantee that the improvements financed by the program shall be maintained, repaired or replaced as per the terms of the grant agreement reference in Section 7 of this document.

4.3  The property owner shall maintain an insurance policy on the participating property in an amount equal to the debt (mortgages, liens, assessments, etc.) recorded against the real estate.

4.4  Grants are intended to finance 100% of the renovation or alteration and will pay for project costs such as design, materials, labor, mobilization and other standard and customary costs of such construction.

4.5  Renovation or alterations which cost in excess of $25,000 may be undertaken if the applicant can demonstrate and document that sufficient funds are on deposit or otherwise immediately accessible to finance the completion of the improvement(s).

4.6  Governmental entities may not participate in the grant program, however, private properties leased or rented to a governmental entity may be eligible to participate in the grant program.

5.  GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS

5.1 Grant applications shall be accepted prior to February 26th.

5.2  Each grant applicant shall submit an application to the office of the Community Development Director which at a minimum, contains the following information.

a. Building ownership
b. Mailing address
c. Description of building usage and tenants.
d. Description of proposed alterations.
e. Estimated daily customer traffic count.
f. Photographs of the entry, door or access intended to be renovated to enhance accessibility.
g. Quotes from at least two licensed building contractors itemizing the cost of the proposed construction project.

6.    GRANT REVIEW

6.1 The City Council shall appoint a committee of citizens and city staff to undertake a review of the grant applications submitted by the established deadline.

6.2 Projects that would be undertaken in compliance with the regulations and standards of the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990 may be given priority as opposed to those projects that only improve accessibility.

6.3 Buildings occupied by uses which generate higher customer traffic may be given program priority.

7.  GRANT AGREEMENT

7.1 Successful grant applicants will be required to enter into a grant agreement by and between the building owner and City of Saint Peter prior to initiating any improvements to be financed by the grant.

7.2 The grant agreement will obligate that the improvements are completed as approved by the City Building Official and all applicable building codes, standards or regulations established by any municipal, state or federal ordinance, statute or rule.

7.3 The grant agreement will obligate the building owner to maintain or repair the structure following completion of the renovation or alteration until released from the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.

 7.4 The grant agreement will obligate the building owner to undertake any maintenance or repair of the improvement as may be ordered by, and to the satisfaction of the City of Saint Peter.

 7.5 The building owner will be released from the terms of the grant agreement 15 years after completion of the accessibility improvements financed by the grant program.

 7.6 Upon execution of the grant agreement, the document shall be recorded in the office of the Nicollet County Recorder.

8.   DISPURSEMENT OF FUNDS

8.1 Successful grant recipients will be provided documentation of grant participation which demonstrates the City’s commitment to fund the improvement if they are undertaken as approved by the City Building Official.

 8.2 Once the improvement has been completed in the manner prescribed by the City Building Official, the grant funds will be disbursed to the building owner for payment to the licensed building contractors.

 8.3 Those property owners which fail to maintain and repair the renovated property as required by the terms and conditions of the grant agreement shall be required to repay a pro rata share of the grant.   The grant funds shall be “forgiven” at a rate of 1/15 per year for the life of the grant agreement.

Eligible Properties:  All commercial (non-governmental) structures located within the Central Business District as identified on the Zoning Map.

Eligible Renovations:  

  •      Doorways
  •      Ramps
  •      Wheelchair Lifts
  •      Automatic Door Openers
  •      (Any Renovation Improving Accessibility)

Financing:    0% Interest, $25,000 maximum

(Projects exceeding $25,000 require that the participant provide evidence that funds are liquid and available to pay expenses in excess of the $25,000 maximum)

Application Deadline:        4:30 p.m. on February 26, 2021

Grant Agreement:    

● Maintain or repair the improvement for 15 years following completion.

● Adequately insure the property against peril for 15 years.

● Project undertaken as per Heritage Preservation Commission review and approval when appropriate.

● Documents recorded at Nicollet County Recorder’s Office.

● Borrowed funds will be forgiven at a rate of 1/15 per year during the terms of the agreement.