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Friday, January 27, 2023

City proposing new grant program for neighborhood improvements in Marion Heights

A proposed grant program for residential facade and property improvements in Marion Heights will be presented to city officials for approval this week.

The Imagine North Magnolia Residential Facade and Property Improvement Grant is a new grant program with the intention of encouraging owner-occupants of single-family homes in the Marion Heights neighborhood to make exterior improvements to their homes and property.

Proposed grant seeks neighborhood improvements in Marion Heights 1
Property owners within the Residential Grant Area would be eligible for the grant

According to city records, there are 41 homes in the neighborhood, and 14 are owner-occupied.

The grant program is a component of a comprehensive revitalization plan for the neighborhood which would also include construction of new housing, sewer and water line extensions, a neighborhood park, and commercial development along N Magnolia Avenue.

Property owners in single-family, owner-occupied homes would be eligible to apply for a maximum grant of $10,000. The city would cover 75% of the project cost and the owner (applicant) would be required to match the remaining 25%.

The grant funds would be eligible for the following uses:

  • Exterior painting.
  • Paint removal for the entire building.
  • Exterior cleaning and repairs.
  • Replacement of facade details and materials (doors, walls, trim, and exterior lighting).
  • Repair or replacement of windows and awnings.
  • New landscaping area (trees and shrubs) that are visible from the street or sidewalk.
  • Removal of hazardous trees.
  • Fencing.
  • Re-roofing.

Owners would be unable to use the grant funds to correct outstanding code violations in an active code enforcement case.

City staff is recommending approval, and the council members will vote on whether or not to approve the proposed grant during the Ocala City Council regular meeting on Tuesday, January 18.

The Ocala City Council meets at 5 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at Ocala City Hall, which is located at 110 SE Watula Avenue.