Winchester met a July 31 deadline to apply for a 75-25% state grant to make improvements to the city’s downtown area.
The city council recently unanimously approved to apply to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for the grant program, which amounts to $200,000, including $150,000 from the state, with the city contributing $50,000 .
Grants are distributed to cities, such as Winchester, that have participated in the Tennessee Downtown and Tennessee Main Street programs.
Grant funding can be used to make improvements to building facades, courtyards, walkways and streetscapes and will also pay for wayfinding signage, benches and other similar items to improve appearance and access to key downtown locations in the city.
A resolution approved by City Council states: “The City of Winchester, in cooperation with the Winchester Main Street Corporation, wishes to continue its efforts to revitalize and maintain the town center as a vibrant commercial district by applying for (the project) .”
Winchester eyes security grant
Winchester applied for a grant to pay for safety equipment and training.
The grant matches 50-50% to the city and public entity partners, a pool of government entities, each contributing $4,000.
The money can be used to purchase safety and loss prevention items and training to reduce work-related injuries and accidents.
Items may include personal protective equipment, body armor and work area safety equipment.
City Administrator Beth Rhoton said Public Works is injecting $2,000 and the department’s portion of the grant will go towards traffic cones and traffic lights to improve safety.
Public Entity Partners, of which Winchester is a member, was established in 1979 as a not-for-profit risk-sharing pool that provides risk management products and services to Tennessee government entities.
According to the organization’s website, one of the ways the organization fulfills its commitment to its members is to return excess net surpluses in the form of dividends.
Since the inception of a dividend program in 1996, members of public entities have received more than $140 million in dividends and surpluses that directly benefit local governments in Tennessee.
When the board of directors of the public entity declares a dividend, it is based on a number of factors, including the loss performance of all members of the organization during the previous year and the ratio of historical loss of each member.
According to the organization, each member can have a direct impact on the overall dividend through effective risk management programs.
When members exceed loss projections and have fewer losses than expected, the board is able to declare a dividend, the website says.