October 20, 2014

Medina
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Grants provide $600K to beautify Medina Public Square, Foundry Street

The site of the closed Whitey’s Army & Navy store at 2 Public Square is one of the buildings eligible for a portion of a $300,000 state grant aimed at beautifying downtown Medina. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

The site of the closed Whitey’s Army & Navy store at 2 Public Square is one of the buildings eligible for a portion of a $300,000 state grant aimed at beautifying downtown Medina. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Medina has received $600,000 in grants from the state’s Office of Community Development to rebuild Foundry Street and provide a facelift for businesses on Public Square.

A $300,000 Critical Infrastructure Grant will provide about 50 percent of the funds to upgrade Foundry Street from Bronson Street to the entrance of Ray Mellert Park within the next 24 months.

“We will match whatever is necessary to complete the project,” Mayor Dennis Hanwell said.

Hanwell said the project will entail replacing 800 linear feet of road, pavement, waterline and sidewalks on Foundry.

Foundry Street will be repaved from Bronson Street to the entrance of Ray Mellert Park thanks to a $300,000 state grant. Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell has pledged to provide additional funds to complete the project, which will include a new  waterline and sidewalks on the street. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Foundry Street will be repaved from Bronson Street to the entrance of Ray Mellert Park thanks to a $300,000 state grant. Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell has pledged to provide additional funds to complete the project, which will include a new waterline and sidewalks on the street. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

A $300,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant is part of the Downtown Medina Strategic Redevelopment Plan, Hanwell said.

Money from the grant will be put into an account that eventually will be awarded to 12 businesses located on the north and west sides of Public Square and on the first half block of West Liberty Street and North Court streets.

“We thought that area could have the most impact and interest,” Hanwell said.

The mayor said the businesses can use it how they see fit — from replacing an awning to landscaping needs.

Hanwell said businesses getting the grants must provide matching funds.

“This grant will assist them in getting the things they need accomplished,” he said.

The grant also will help the city install two audible traffic signals on Public Square.

The city applied for the grants earlier this summer.

The Critical Infrastructure and Downtown Revitalization programs are competitive grants that fund projects that improve public facilities and infrastructure as well as rehabilitate buildings in a community’s central business district.

“Improving neighborhoods and business districts improves the quality of life in a community and makes it more attractive to job creators,” David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, said in a news release.

Stephanie Gostomski, a representative with the Office of Community Development, said Medina has 24 months from September, when the state will send the city a contract, to complete the projects.

“When the community starts incurring costs, they can start drawing money out of the grant,” she said.

The state received 75 grant applications in 2014 totaling $20.3 million. Of those, 34 were funded totaling $9.5 million in community development grants.

Medina received the most of any community in Northeast Ohio.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.