PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. McKee announced Thursday that seven cities and towns will share a combined $1.47 million in funding to revitalize their main streets and downtown business districts.
McKee said the communities are receiving grants from the state’s Main Street RI Streetscape Improvement Fund.
“Main streets are the center of economic development in our cities and towns,” McKee said. “As a former mayor, I know the difficulty in finding funding for improvement projects such as these. Making these investments are important for the success of our businesses and communities.”
The funding will be utilized in a variety of ways, including for sidewalk repairs, the installation of new way-finding signage, upgraded building facades and improved street lighting.
Here’s a breakdown of which communities received funding:
- The Southside Community Land Trust received $200,000 to help restore and upgrade Haward Linden Plaza with new landscaping, better parking, bike racks and street lights.
- The Providence Downtown Improvement District was given $100,000 to replace 100 trash bins that are nearly 20 years old.
- The Black Block Community Foundation received $150,000 to install art murals and encourage foot traffic throughout the city.
- The Pawtucket Foundation was given $110,000 to fully light the Main Street parking garage and convert certain one-way roads into two-way traffic.
- The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council secured $25,000 to improve signage and digital wayfinding.
- The city received $125,000 to add more street lighting and trash storage, as well as make walkways more accessible for the disabled.
- The town received $40,000 to install more street lights and green spaces in the commerce sections of Pascoag and Harrisville
- The town received $350,000 to outfit Ann & Hope Way with new street lights, signs and landscaping.
- The town received $250,000 to install accessible sidewalks for the disabled and upgrade landscaping.
The Block Island Chamber of Commerce secured $123,000 to expand Mary D Park with extensive landscaping and a new pathway. The funding will also be used to rebuild a historic stone wall.
R.I. Commerce plans to open a second round of applications later this year for additional improvement projects. Eligible projects must be in walkable areas that attract residents and visitors.
“When we support improvements to main streets, downtown districts and new commercial and mixed-use spaces, we help pave the way for new small businesses and economic expansion,” R.I. Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner said.
To date, the state has awarded $3 million through he Main Street Streetscape Improvement Fund.