Housing Rehab Grant Program
The Watertown RDA's Housing Rehab Grant Program is a new one-time grant program, introduced in January 2024.
The program provides a one-time grant determined on a sliding scale based on income. All housing units located within the City of Watertown are eligible to apply. A maximum of $10,000 will be awarded per grant. Funds are to be used for physical repairs to an existing home including roofs, porches, exterior paint, windows, doors, and power service upgrades to panels (with a correlating plan for upgrading in wiring). Property owners are required to contribute a minimum of 10% of cash, based on the total project costs.
This new program is funded with $100,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The RDA has been designated to facilitate this program and review all applications. Applications are evaluated in conjunction with Thrive ED.
Applications for this competitive grant can be found here:
Application Period CLOSED for 2023 - Watch for a new round of funding in 1Q-2024
Beltz Foundation Downtown Watertown Grant Programs
Dr. John Beltz, through the Dr. John Beltz Charitable Foundation, has funded a total of $50,000 per year (until 2025 with an option to renew his gift) to facilitate two RDA Grant Programs.
The Beltz Foundation Downtown Watertown Special Events Grant Program provides grants up to $10,000 per event to public events that attract more than 150 attendees, meet economic development goals of the area, contribute to the unique identity of downtown Watertown, make the City’s core a compelling destination, provide economic impact, and promote business and community involvement.
The Beltz Foundation Downtown Watertown Business Grant Program offers funding to encourage unique businesses to relocate or expand into the Target Area. Funds can be used towards eligible expenses such as capital improvements, renovations, and signage. Preference will be given to businesses that fall in categories that align with the program: entertainment and family and full service, fine dining, grab-and-go lunch stops, and craft beer. In addition, organic and gourmet food stores, retail establishments offering quality merchandise, and non-chain/non-franchised businesses.
Downtown Commercial Revolving Loan Program
The Downtown Commercial Revolving Loan Program is designed to foster business growth and expansion, to facilitate the development of high-quality upper-level residential units, to update and preserve historic structures, and to increase the overall economic vitality of downtown Watertown. In addition to façade beautification projects, revolving loan funds may be used for structural repairs, and major mechanical upgrades to plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems. Loan funds may also be used to offset the cost of project-related expenses such as design, architectural or engineering costs.
In 2021, the Joint Review Board (JRB) approved the Tax Incremental District 8 (TID 8). This cleared the way for work to begin in the district located on 18 acres in the heart of downtown Watertown. In giving the green light for the creation of TID 8, the majority of representatives from the Joint Review Board, which includes the Watertown Unified School District, Jefferson County, Madison College, City of Watertown, and a member-at-large, signaled their support for future development plans surrounding the Town Square, the properties along north Water Street, the former Johnsonville site, the riverwalk, and the Library remodel and expansion.