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WEDC Business and Community Development Division announces program updates for new fiscal year

August 4, 2023
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WEDC’s Business and Community Development Division is announcing important updates to its program offerings. These updates took effect with the new fiscal year that began on July 1, 2023.

Guidelines for the Brownfield Site Assessment Grant Program (which provides grants to local governments seeking to redevelop sites impacted by environmental contamination) have been amended to allow asbestos-only projects—a type of project that had not previously been allowed—in communities with a population less than 2,500.

Guidelines for the Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant Program (which supports redevelopment efforts by providing financial incentives for shovel-ready projects, emphasizing downtown community-driven efforts) have been updated with several changes:

  • While the ratio of community matching funds to grant funds remains 3:1 for the program overall, certain types of projects can qualify for a 1:1 ratio of community matching funds to grant funds. Projects that qualify for the 1:1 match include those located in rural communities (defined as cities, villages, or towns with a population less than 2,500), economically distressed communities, or opportunity zones, or that include providing child care or expanding housing as key components.
  • Communities located in an opportunity zone may now apply for two CDI Grants in the same fiscal year.
  • Developers are now permitted to file CDI Grant applications, as long as the application includes an approved resolution from the municipality as evidence of community support for using CDI Grant Program funds for the project.

Guidelines for the Idle Sites Redevelopment Program (which offers grants to Wisconsin communities to implement redevelopment plans for large commercial, institutional, or industrial sites that have been idle, abandoned, or underutilized) have been amended to reduce the amount of time a site must have been vacant to two years (versus the previous requirement of five years) and to reduce the minimum acreage of a project site to four acres (versus the previous requirement of five acres).

For more information about these changes and any other program details, please contact your regional economic development director.

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