Bellows Falls is a member of a community revitalization program managed by the State of Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development that helps to preserve the historic character and enhance the future of medium to large-sized historic centers. Since 1999 Downtown Designation has provided communities with financial incentives, training and technical assistance supporting local efforts to restore historic buildings, improve housing, design walkable communities and encourage economic development by incentivizing public and private investments. Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance works with building owners to apply for:
10% Historic Tax Credits ■ Available as an add-on to approved Federal Historic Tax Credit projects. ■ Eligible costs include interior and exterior improvements, code compliance, plumbing and electrical upgrades.
25% Historic Tax Credits ■ Eligible facade work up to $25,000.
50% Code Improvement Tax Credits ■ Available for up to $50,000 each for sprinkler systems; up to $75,000 for elevators; and $12,000 for lifts. ■ Eligible code work includes ADA modifications, electrical, fire safety, or plumbing up to $50,000.
Municipalities that receive designation collaborate with local non-profit downtown organizations supporting efforts through funding, staff, partnerships and volunteers. The downtown program utilizes the Main Street Approach which is a proven strategy that encourages communities to take steps to enact long term change, while also implementing short term, inexpensive activities that attract people to the downtown and create a sense of enthusiasm and momentum about their community.