City to redo Brown Street
5:28 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Facade Update In Downtown Rhinelander's 2016 Plan

Credit Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.
  Last week, the Rhinelander city council approved a $20,000 commitment to bolster an effort to help businesses downtown redo their facades. The money is contingent on another $60,000 state grant being available. The city is also planning a major utility upgrade down Brown Street in 2016. The street would also have a new look after construction. Downtown Rhinelander Incorporated Director Maggie Steffen says that group is working toward an eventual $250,000 program so downtown businesses can redo the front of their buildings if they choose...  

"....as long as (the construction) is happening, you might as well make the extra effort and fix the front of your building.....when that street is done, it's going to be a brand new downtown. Think of how the downtown will floor to ceiling, basically...."

 The money would come from state funds through Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, D.R.I. money through the Downtown Works revolving loan fund, and city funds and grants. Steffen says a survey of downtown businesses showed the top concern was facade improvements. Steffen says participating businesses will see a mix of funding to get the work done...  

"...so there will be a certain percentage that will be a grant, a certain percentage that they'll either put in their own money or through a loan..."

 At the city council meeting, council member Alex Young questioned whether the $20,000 in a grant form committed by the city would be a good investment.