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The RDA facilitates a number of programs to encourage growth, programming, and create high quality developments in Watertown.

For information on programs contact:

Mason T. Becker, RDA Executive Director • O: 920.206.4266  C: 920.567.8181


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.

Revolving Loan

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.

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