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Sycamore committee recommends city-funded residential building exterior improvements

May 2, 2018 GMT

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore Architectural Review Committee voted 4-0 during Wednesday’s meeting in favor of an application to use city funds to improve the exterior of two multi-family buildings at 471 and 477 E. State St.

The Gateway Improvement Program application for the residential properties will go to the city council for approval during its next meeting Monday.

The Gateway Improvement Program is meant to improve the aesthetic appearance of buildings at the city’s gateway areas by giving money to property owners to make exterior improvements, according to city documents. The city set aside general capital funds for the grants.

The city may give a grant amount of no more than $5,000 per building for projects that meet program guidelines.

The management company Carlson Royer, LLC, out of Sycamore owns the two residential properties and is asking for $10,000 for exterior improvements on the properties – $5,000 for each building. That includes priming and painting all brick surfaces, replacing existing landscaping, adding shake siding to the gables and second floors, new stairways, a new parking lot and new sidewalks as needed.

The properties are “in vast need of improvement” and the “scope of work is enormous,” according to a letter written by owners Scott Carlson and Tim Royer that was attached to the application.

“We feel this would greatly improve the area,” the letter from Carlson and Royer read. “This is one of the first things a person sees when entering the town from the east on Route 64.”

Work cannot begin before the city council approves the project, according to city documents. Any work that begins before approval of the application is not eligible for the grant.

The general application period began last month and ends May 31. City Manager Brian Gregory said this is the first gateway grant considered by the committee that came from this year’s general application period.

“I think the committee felt good about the project and that it will help enhance the look of the city’s gateways,” Gregory said.

While the Gateway Improvement Program is meant to better exterior appearances of buildings at city entrances only, Gregory said, applications submitted for the program could also signify interior improvements being made for those buildings.

The next city council meeting is 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Center building, 308 W. State St.