Fredericksburg EDA Grant Requests Top $100,000 Mark

The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority will review 14 applications for grants, including one for the Inn at Olde Silk Mill worth $37,000.

The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority will have a busy year with 14 businesses and nonprofits seeking $97,436 in grants. The EDA will review the applications next month.

The Economic Development Authority funds used for these grants come from fees charged to private borrowers. For example, the University of Mary Washington Foundation has a tax-exempt bond through the EDA and the EDA collects fees for the bond issuance. The EDA does not receive money from the city budget and no direct city tax dollars are used with these grants. These grants are different than the city's incentives program, in which the business gets some of the taxes it pays rebated if it meets goals set in the agreement it has with the EDA and the city.

Facade Improvement grants:

  • American Canoe Association wants $2,008 106 and 108 Hanover St. They want a color logo in the window, a mural depicting a Rappahannock River scene, a 10-foot long by 20-feet wide kayak mounted above the storefront and painting of the building.
  • Blake and Aby Bethem, 314 William St, wants $10,000 for a complete renovation of the façade for their new burger restaurant across the street from their fine-dining restaurant Bistro Bethem. Blake Bethem said he has not finalized a name for the new restaurant that is expected to open this summer.
  • Jason Cohen, ILM Corp. 600 Lafayette Blvd., want $5,000 to make façade renovations that is part of complete building renovation for new business office.
  • William Colligan, 1002 Caroline St., wants $500 to repaint the first floor building's façade.
  • Herlong Associates, 1009 Prince Edward St., wants $10,000 for brick pavers at the entrance, a new gate and fence, new roofing to restore the original metal roof, new wooden siding and new windows. The total cost is $87,000.
  • David Lough (Pitts Est.) and Mr.& Mrs. Adcock, 2100 Princess Anne St., The Family Diner wants $4,253 for new neon lighting signage, improving the parking ballasts and poles, replacing the chain link fence with a painted wooden fence, re-striping the parking lot and landscaping.
  • Christian and Raymond Renault, 311 William St, La Petite Auberge want $10,000 to replace the awning and to paint the exterior of the building and make other facade improvements.  

For-Profit Grant Application:

  • Ed Whelan, Inn at the Olde Silk Mill, 1700 Caroline St. wants $37,000 for exterior lighting, signage, landscaping, brick and gutter repair and to replace windows and doors.

Non-Profit Grant Applications:

  • Fredericksburg Area Builders Association, 3006 Lafayette Blvd., wants $1,000 for a new website.
  • Via Colori Fredericksburg, 706 Caroline St. wants $5,000 for the annual arts event, this year held on Sept. 22-23.
  • James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, 908 Charles St., wants $3,000 for the 23rd Annual Welsh Festival on Sept. 22.


Event Sponsorship Grants:

  • Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. wants $3,00 for the Cash in the Attic event on April 28.
  • James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, 908 Charles St., wants $1,175 for the James Monroe Birthday Party event and April 28 and the Elizabeth Monroe Birthday Party event on June 9.

JumpsArt Grant:

  • Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, 1001 Princess Anne St., wants $7,500 for the American Music Concert Series that runs May 1 – Sept. 30.

*Correction: The EDA forgot to add James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library's grant request of $3,000. We have added the request and the new total amount is $100,400.

HOKIENERD March 07, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Apparently the people running this city are disgusted when a homeless person asks for $1 to get something to eat, but they're more than happy to hand out thousands of dollars to for-profit business so they can replace a few bricks (using the profits from tax-dodging loans). It's so nice to know that these poor underprivileged businesses have someone looking out for them. I guess there is justice in this world after all.
Dan Telvock (Editor) March 07, 2012 at 03:53 PM
John, I thought we cleared this up last time? These are grants and no direct city tax dollars are used for these grants if they are approved. These are not direct incentives. The money that is used for the grants comes from the EDA's fees collected when it acts as the entity for tax-exempt bonds. It's the EDA's money and the EDA is its own entity.
MichaEl Hirsch March 08, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Dan, Can you also post PDFs of the governing documents for EDA and grant guidelines? I appreciate your posting htis information.
HOKIENERD March 08, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Hi Dan, I thought we cleared this up to! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that the EDA makes its money by issuing tax-exempt bonds on behalf of select businesses (i.e., the government picks winners and losers) and then charging those businesses a small fee for the cheaper loans. Otherwise, the interest on the loans would generate tax revenue (and lessen the burden on the individual taxpayer.) For example, an $80 million Eagle Village loan at 4% (if not for the EDA) would generate $3.2 million of taxable interest annually. At a Romney-esque tax rate of 15%, this would result in tax revenues of $480,000 every year. (No small amount.) This is a great deal for the government-selected company, but hardly a good deal for the individual taxpayer. Can you explain to me why this annaul loss of $1/2 million in tax revenues (for this one example) isn't a bad deal for the individual taxpayer?
Dan Telvock (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 03:49 AM
John, these grants involve no direct city tax dollars. As for the rest of your questions, I would send them directly to members of the EDA and the Economic Development Department. The only point I am making is that no local money is used to offer these grants to businesses and that is an important distinction to make to local readers.
HOKIENERD March 08, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Dan, the only point I'm making is that this money comes from tax-dodging loans, and is therefore being paid at the expense of all taxpayers, local and otherwise.
Dan Telvock (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 04:16 AM
John, I hear you. I do. Yes, in some way because of the tax-exempt loan status, it's not the typical loan, but this process is not uncommon and unique to the city. It just seems to be a bit of a stretch to say that city residents are paying for this.... City incentives--now that's a different story.
HOKIENERD March 09, 2012 at 04:13 AM
I just want to point out that the money doesn't come out of thin air... we all pay for it. Whether it's a line item on our tax returns is not important. We're paying for it all. It all comes out of tax revenues, just in a slightly different way.
Dan Telvock (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Are you that upset over the one-millionth of a cent? That's about what you probably paid.
HOKIENERD March 09, 2012 at 04:30 AM
See my previous post... an $80 million tax-free loan to Eagle Village equals a loss of about $500,000 in annual tax revenues. (For one loan, in one small city in Virginia.) So multiply that by something like 10,0000. We're suddenly talking $5 billion. Yeah, that's nothing. Is it any wonder this country is going bankrupt? When the media doesn't understand the scope of the problem, this country is absolutely screwed. (See the Iraq war.)
stonewallpark March 10, 2012 at 09:12 PM
John, I for one can agree with you on this the money does not just fall out of the clouds. Just like the SFVA a non-profit oweing around 80 million dollars sounds like someone made some bad moves. Great idea just that people taking free rides get caught with their hands in the pot sometimes.


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