City of Sharon disperses $830K in ARP funds to revitalization projects
Sharon has been working hard to revitalize and develop the city with the help of ARP funds.
Thursday, Sharon announced that an additional $830,000 in ARP money will go to six local businesses to help with the revitalization efforts.
“With this round, we are funding six businesses and organizations to move four projects forward,” said Bob Fiscus, Sharon City Manager. “We are really focused on revitalization in our grant choices to help build up our business community with the ARPA funds.”
The first of those businesses is the Corinthian Banquet Center. They were awarded $175,000 to create an outdoor courtyard behind the banquet center. The funds will help build out the courtyard and a balcony leading to the second-floor ballroom.
“This project will certainly add to the ambiance of the "Artist's Alley" (Central Way alley) and serve the public needs for more indoor/outdoor dining and event opportunities,” said John Bianco, owner of The Corinthian Banquet Center.
Next on the list is Fruit, Dill, Goodwin, and Scholl, who will receive $150,000 to remove a so-called 'party wall,' a.k.a. the wall shared between the law firm and the Corinthian next door. After the shared wall is removed, an exterior wall for the law firm will be built.
The Valley Shenango Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) is getting $300,000 to promote development in 'The Landing,' a former Westinghouse plant. The project this money will fund is an Aquaponics facility, "a year-round indoor farming operation which can grow almost any type of pesticide, herbicide, and antibiotic-free produce and fish," according to the city's press release.
“We’re excited to see this aquaponics facility impact our local food economy,” said VSEDC Vice Board Chairman Brad Mantzell.
The fourth business will receive $80,000 to help with the Aquaponics start-up cost. That includes supplies, testing, equipment, and training.
“Aquaponics will provide fresh foods, educational and collaborative opportunities, as well as training for future entrepreneurs in the City of Sharon,” said Karen Winner-Sed, CEO of WestWinn LLC. “We are grateful to the City of Sharon for seeing this vision along with us. To be able to reuse the former Westinghouse Facility for this purpose is the definition of transformation and a welcomed and exciting addition to our Sharon business community. “
The Aquaponics project is set to begin in early 2023.
A fifth business is receiving $55,000 to expand. Eyes of Faith Optical will begin a new division called Sharon City Eyeworks on Sharpsville Avenue. They plan to bring a virtual Optometrist, lab technician, and Optician on board, along with state-of-the-art exam technology and diagnostic instruments.
“Although Sharon City Eyeworks is a new practice, the team’s 65 combined years of expertise partnered with the nuanced technology will bring more access to exceptional patient care in downtown Sharon,” said Amy Schneider, Co-founder of EOF Optical, LP, and Sharon City Eyeworks.
Last but not least, $70,000 is going to Croakers Brewing Company to relocate and expand their tap house and brewing facility.
“We plan to apply this funding to help bring fun and entertainment to downtown Sharon, but most of all, to bring our unique menu of craft beers to the area,” said Croakers Brewing Company co-owner Mara Palipchak.
Croakers also has a retail shop for home brewing equipment.
"We’re excited to help existing businesses to expand and to bring in new business to Sharon," said Molly Bundrant, President of Sharon City Council. "We’re so grateful we received these funds to help Sharon move forward with these projects and improve our city.”