Fellsmere leaders may expand grants for local businesses

FELLSMERE — Business owners in the City of Fellsmere might be able to get financial help when it comes to rewiring or renovating their shops. City leaders plan to discuss the possibility of expanding its infrastructure grants at an upcoming meeting.

City Manager Jason Nunemaker made the suggestion last week at the regular council meeting, telling the Fellsmere City Council that by expanding the grant to include interior renovations, it might spark more expansion and, in turn, more jobs.

Currently, the city offers grants up to $5,000 to help businesses connect to the city’s water and sewer system in an attempt to spark expansion and new businesses opening.

Nunemaker said that expanding the grant to include such improvements as wiring, firewalls and other items might also help businesses.

Mayor Susan Adams said that she would support having a discussion on the matter but – at first blush – is leery of expanding the grant’s scope.

The city plans to include the issue in its next Community Redevelopment Agency meeting. The Fellsmere Community Redevelopment Agency – which consists of the sitting members of the city council – offers various grants funded through its redevelopment area.

Those grants include help with connecting to the infrastructure as well as exterior improvements to business sites, such as façade improvements, new or more landscaping, and better signage.

Businesses located within the city’s redevelopment area – which encompasses nearly the entire city – can apply for the grants, which would then be discussed and approved through the Community Redevelopment Agency.

Applications can be picked up at Fellsmere City Hall, 21 S. Cypress Street. For more information, call (772) 571-1616.

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