MOJAVE — Businesses in Mojave’s traditional downtown business district may once again apply for grants from Kern County to spruce up their appearance, part of an effort to help revitalize the area.
The $5,000 and $10,000 grants are available through the Renewable Energy Neighborhood Enhancement Wind Business Investment Zone program, better known as RENEWBIZ.
The RENEWBIZ program, approved by Kern County supervisors in 2012, takes a portion of the increased property taxes generated by the wind energy industry and turns that money over for improvements in the unincorporated communities impacted by the industry.
The program is intended to spur investment in the downtown cores of these communities, improving them aesthetically and economically, and therefore improving quality of life for residents.
The program has been on hiatus for the past couple years, as Kern County has dealt with a fiscal crisis.
“I’m grateful we’re able to offer grants again this year,” Second District Supervisor Zack Scrivner said.
This week, the Board of Supervisors agreed to bring the program back, approving $380,000 for grants for this year for the communities of Mojave, Rosamond, Boron and unincorporated Tehachapi.
The application period opens March 15 and the deadline is April 30, Mojave Chamber of Commerce President Doug Clipperton said during Thursday’s meeting.
“We want people to start thinking about it as soon as possible,” as the applications require a great deal of information, he said.
Businesses may apply for more than one grant at a time.
The Mojave Chamber of Commerce also honored California Highway Patrol Lt. John Williams, commander of the Mojave area office, for his service throughout the community, “not only our community, but the surrounding communities,” Clipperton said.
“It’s a lot more than giving people tickets and reporting accidents,” he said. “There is so much that he and his crew do.”
Among the projects Clipperton detailed are the office’s hugely successful toy drives, Explorer program and providing support for various community events.
“It’s nice to be able to stand up here and have my name on here, but the reality is it’s these folks sitting right here that have done all the hard work,” Williams said of his management team.
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