City officials are back to the drawing board when it comes to finding about $15 million to complete the revitalization of Main Street.
“We’re exploring alternative funding,” Chris Segars, the city’s grants coordinator, said after the U.S. Transportation Department denied a $14.9 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant request. “But we don’t have a source confirmed at this time,” she said.
Mayor Steve Benjamin has mention the possibility of tax increment financing, which is a funding device that sets aside property tax revenue for public improvements.
The money was to go toward streetscaping and other improvement on four blocks of Main between Blanding Street and Elmwood Avenue. That is the remaining portion of City Hall’s years-long efforts to upgrade the corridor with uniform streetlights, traffic lights, underground utilities and wide, more attractive medians, sidewalks and crosswalks.
The city has set aside $3.7 million in state and local matching money for the project. How city leaders will come up with enough to complete the work remains unclear.