The City of Paris has announced another great new partnership with four local financial institutions to make low interest loans available to the owners of deteriorated downtown buildings. “Our downtown is a treasure with endless potential, but it needs help in some places,” said City Manager John Godwin. There are lots of pieces to the puzzle, he went on, “and now, thanks to some of our local banking partners, we have a new tool to help infuse some money into the old structures.”
The city has already been working in partnership with Liberty National, Lamar National, First Federal Community Bank, and Guaranty Bank and Trust for over two years to help provide low interest loans for property owners with deteriorating homes, and the council recently re-affirmed its desire to continue the program for another year. That program has seen 19 loans of up to $5,000 each. A number of homes have been successfully improved; no loans have defaulted.
The new program will work much like the first one, except that it will be for loans of up to $15,000, and will address deteriorated commercial and office buildings in the downtown historic district. Loans will emphasize roof repairs, enclosing holes in exterior walls, repairing and replacing windows, electrical and gas repairs and upgrades, fire sprinklering systems, and asbestos abatement/remediation. “We are happy to be working with the city to improve our community and historic downtown,” Carl Cecil, president of Liberty National, noted.
Eligible projects must be: a primary structure, compliant with current zoning, within the city’s Historic District #1, and a deteriorated yet salvageable structure. The client must be the owner of the structure, be current on his/her taxes, and have no code liens on the property. To apply for participation, a building owner should contact Paris Code Enforcement, who will screen and process all applicants prior to consideration by any of the four baking partners.