Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 GLOCESTER 3 GLOCESTER – Shop owners along Main Street in Chepachet may apply for a grant to get an historic facelift thanks to years of planning and grant writing that have brought in a $250,000 National Park Service grant to Glocester. The town was among nine appli- cants nationwide to be selected for the Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program to showcase historic preser- vation and rural economic develop- ment. Town Engineer Karen Scott said the grant will fund between three and five commercial and mixed-use building front facade improvements. "We want you to see the impact of the grant while you walk through the village," Scott said. She said she is working with National Park Service to create subgrant application guidelines for storefronts that are consistent with the grant. "The way I've always thought about it is this is part of a larger effort on behalf of the town that spanned two decades trying to revitalize the village," Scott said. She said the town will release more information on who can apply for the subgrants, as well as when and how, in January. She said she's already got- ten many questions on the program, and will release more information once the application is fleshed out. Glocester was eligible for the grant due to its status as a Certified Local Government, or a town that enforces local historic district zoning ordi- nances in sensitive historic areas. Scott said the town adopted a plan in 1990 to revitalize the village by systematically implementing many of the plan's recommendations. "It's a strategic way to start invest- ing in the village," Scott said. Some of those projects included brick crosswalks, using period street lighting fixtures, building a town pavilion, and rehabilitating Town Hall. "Each thing we do is one more piece of the puzzle to trying to make a viable commercial district. This is one more piece to try to implement that larger vision," Scott said. The revitalization's success relies on both what the town can do and what the community does as well, Scott said. She said the ongoing revitalization of historic Chepachet is also thanks to the work of the Glocester Business Association and its effort to draw people into town. Events such as the Scarecrow Festival in October or Candlelight Shopping in December have ongoing impacts on this effort, Scott said. "It draws people into town and into our businesses," she said. Glocester also changed zoning in the historic district to mixed-use to allow business owners to operate stores out of the first floor while liv- ing in the second floor of buildings. Scott said the town is working on a request for proposals for an updated five-year revitalization plan as well. She said the town wants to look at what's been done over the past 20 years, and see what can be done next while matching it with a funding source. "It's about where we are now and where we want to be," shesaid. Town Council President George Steere Jr. said Chepachet is the his- toric, civic, and economic develop- ment center for Glocester. He said while the redevelopment and revi- talization of the village focused on public infrastructure and regulatory reforms, several historic buildings fell into disrepair. "If we help local property own- ers to invest in their properties, the streetscape will be preserved, and we will attract new economic devel- opment and new village residents," Steere said. Scott agreed and said that should new businesses move into Glocester because of the grant, she will be thrilled. "This is super exciting for us," she said. Grant will pay for facelifts on historic buildings in Chepachet By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com HISTORIC CHEPACHET VILLAGE strives to maintain its historic charm by system- atically implementing changes, such as installing historic lighting fixtures on Main Street. A new grant will give property owners in the historic district money to pay for facade improvements to keep with the historic character. Know Where Your Meat Comes From ONE FARMER ~ ONE FARM PLEASE CALL 56 PEEPTOAD ROAD, NORTH SCITUATE, RI 02857

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