Janesville60.1°

Sharon receives $400,000 grant to spruce up homes

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Catherine W. Idzerda
January 31, 2012
— Everybody knows that it's what's inside that counts.

But it doesn't hurt if your outside looks good, too.


Last week, village of Sharon officials announced they received a $400,000 community development block grant from the federal government to spruce up homes in their community.


"The village has been trying to obtain this type of grant for 20 years," said Diana Dykstra, village president. "We always had a median income that was too high."


In the past year, however, the village's foundry shut its doors. That along with other economic factors has lead to more than 17 foreclosures in the tiny town.


The grant will create a revolving loan fund that will let low to moderate income residents borrow money for weatherization, lead paint abatement, roof repairs, windows and other health and safety issues. The zero-percent interest loans allow for deferred payments until the home is sold or the residents no longer live in it.


Village officials have been struggling to attract businesses and they want the village to "look as good as it could," Dykstra said.


The downtown area has been spruced up with new street lamps and other cosmetic changes, she said. Also, Sharon is full of beautiful old homes—including one of the few remaining octagon houses in the country.


Dykstra believes the improvements will affect the whole community.


"We are so excited about what this is going to do for us," she said.


Loan applications, which will go through a committee, will be available in March.


For more information, call City Hall at (262) 736-4888.



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