Contact the city for Carrabelle CRA grants

Carrabelle’s CRA district covers the business district from the pavilion to the Tillie Miller Bridge

Carrabelle’s CRA district covers the business district from the pavilion to the Tillie Miller Bridge.

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM.

Money is available to increase the curbside appeal of Carrabelle businesses.

The Carrabelle Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has a mission to reduce and eliminate blight within the designated redevelopment area or district. To that end, they are offering grants to spiff up the business district. A brochure and application forms for the program were debuted at a CRA meeting held Tuesday, June 17.

The Community Reinvestment Act part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977 is a federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The Community Reinvestment Act requires federal regulators to assess the record of each bank or thrift in helping to fulfill its obligations to lend to low and moderate income borrowers. This record will then be used in evaluating applications for future approval of bank mergers, charters, acquisitions, branch openings and deposit facilities. 

A CRA designates a district in need of revitalization. A baseline of tax revenue is set at the time of designation. From that date forward, any increase in property tax revenue, above the baseline, goes into a fund to be used to improve structures within the district.

Carrabelle established their CRA in 1993. Since then CRA, funds have been used toe upgrade public areas with landscaping and sidewalks.

Now, the city is making CRA funds available as grants to upgrade existing buildings to improve appearance and environment, improve functionality, eliminate code violations, and help fill vacant or underused spaces within the commercial district.

According to a press release concerning the grants, “The CRA seeks to increase “pride of ownership” and to get “feet on the street”. Crowded sidewalks and occupied store-fronts indicate healthy economic activity and a safe environment; a place for people to come and enjoy.”

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