Thursday July 18, 2013

DOVER -- The Economic Development Department has seen the Do-It Marketing initiative take off and participation in it shows just that.

"The revitalization program started July 1," said Dover Economic Development Specialist Ken Black. "We took applications at midnight. At 9:24 in the morning, on July 1, the program was out of funding."

On July 16, Black requested that the board consider increasing this fiscal year's funding for Do-It Marketing. He said there are three projects that came in just after the program was closed for the fiscal year.

"It still only represents the 8 percent of our revenue in terms of the $40,000," said Black, referring to the 1 percent local option tax revenue that his department's programs are funded by. "I think it's a worthwhile program."

The Do-It Marketing program allows businesses in Dover to apply for funding between $500 and $2,500 to make aesthetic improvements in a revitalization campaign. Projects so far include re-paving, new signage, power washing, staining decks, replacing siding and addressing disrepair.

Black mentioned that one applicant would like to "do some lake dredging." The money available from the program would only cover a small percentage of that cost.

Selectboard Chairman Randy Terk suggested that the additional funding be taken from unused funds from the Dover Advertising Support Program, or DASP, which allows Dover-based business to receive a 25 percent rebate on any type of advertising. Approved businesses could get up to $1,500 per year through the initiative.

Black said there's about $7,600 in the DASP program from the last fiscal year.

"I don't want to take additional dollars away from the two programs we have but I am certainly willing to allocate more dollars from the one that hasn't been fully utilized," Terk said.

The board voted in support of Terk's motion. With the additional funds, Black told the board there would be about $450 left after allowing the three businesses into the program.

When asked if any projects have been completed, Black said one project had been completed and paid for, while another was completed and waiting on an invoice.

"I would suspect that, from the people I spoke with, they fully intend to complete (their projects)," he added.

Business owners aren't paid until their submitted projects are completed and an invoice is submitted for review by the Dover Economic Development Department.

Businesses that take part in the program are required to hang a sign that says "Do-It Marketing" in front the of their location while projects are under way.

Black said he was happy with the program and how the money was being used.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.