Frequently Asked Questions about Downtown Revitalization
Q: Can I repair or replace my building’s roof through the DTR Program?
No, roof repair or replacement is not eligible for reimbursement under the DTR Program. Your project could still include roof repair as part of the work if it is more economical for you to have your contractor complete it at the same time as window, door, or façade work; however, any expenses that are related to the repair or replacement of your roof would be ineligible for reimbursement.
Q: Do I really need to get three cost estimates? What happens if I can’t?
Applicants should try their best to get three cost estimates from different contractors. These estimates do not need to be comprehensive bids, but they will be used to help determine the amount of funds to award to your project. Applications that do not contain three cost estimates will still be reviewed and considered; however, failing to provide all three may affect how well your project scores and the amount of funds awarded to you.
Q: Could my application be partially awarded or is it all or nothing?
Applications can be partially awarded depending on the type of work to be done, how needed the work is for your building and for the downtown area, and the availability of funds. As long as you can meet the matching requirement, your application should include all of the work you would like to see done to the front of your building. The City Council’s Economic Development Committee will review the applications and may choose to only award funds for certain parts of your project.
If your project is only partially funded and some of the work can wait, you may apply again during the second application cycle for the remaining work.
Q: I want to participate in the program, but I’m not sure I can afford the matching requirement. Is other financial assistance available?
Yes. City Bank and Trust is willing to offer short-term, bridge financing for DTR projects, and we recommend you contact them first to see what options they can provide you. The City wants to encourage as much participation in the program as possible, so if working with a traditional lender is not possible, please contact the City to learn more about other financial assistance programs that may be available to you.
Q: What happens if my project is not selected?
Unfortunately, there is only so much funding available, and it’s possible not every project will receive an award. If your project is not selected during the first round, you may apply again during the second round.
Q: Do I have to get building permits?
Yes, all work must be done according to city standards, which includes applying for and receiving the appropriate building permits. This typically involves contacting the Building Inspector to discuss the project and providing the City with plans and specifications for the work to be done. Throughout the project, the Building Inspector may need to make periodic inspections to ensure the work is being completed in compliance with the building permit and the City’s Building Codes.
Q: Can I choose any contractor I want?
Yes and no. Unlike prior DTR Programs, you are not required to use a contractor selected by the City and may have the work done by a contractor of your choosing. This contractor may be one of ones that provided you a cost estimate, or you may choose to work with a completely different contractor. There are, however, some state and federal limitations on which contractors can perform work under a federal grant program.
All contractors and subcontractors must be authorized to transact business in Nebraska and must comply with the Nebraska Contractor Registration Act. Additionally, no contractor or subcontractor can be debarred, suspended, or ineligible to receive federal funds. Please contact the City if you have any questions on the state and federal regulations that apply to contractors and subcontractors.
Q: How do I get reimbursed for project costs?
Reimbursement can happen either on a rolling basis or as a lump sum once the project has been completed. As you receive invoices and begin paying them off, you can submit a copy of the invoice and proof of payment to the City. The City will review the invoiced work to make sure the expenses are eligible for reimbursement and the work was done in compliance with the program guidelines. If everything looks good, the City will provide a reimbursement of up to 80% of the amount paid.
Q: Who should I talk to if I have any questions or need help completing an application?
Tom Ourada, Crete’s City Administrator, is the City’s point of contact for the DTR Program. He can be reached by telephone at 402-826-4312 and will be available to answer any questions or help you with the application process.
Tom Ourada, City Administrator
City Hall - 243 East 13th Street
Crete NE 68333-0086
Crete Downtown Revitalization Program documents and information:
- Program Press Release
- Program guidelines and application
- Environmental Review Record
- Business owner scope of duties
- Contractor scope of duties
- Business loan program - SENDD