The Wildwood Board of Commissioners, during their Sept. 25 meeting, unanimously passed a resolution directing the city’s Planning Board to conduct a study to determine whether or not the city, or any parts of it, meet the state’s criteria to be deemed an Area in Need of Rehabilitation.
According to Commissioner Pete Byron, once the study is completed it will be forwarded to the state for its review for possible designation as an Area in Need of Rehabilitation.
Byron said the study will be submitted to the state by the end of this year.
“This is a planning tool which will enable the city to carefully assess physical conditions in its residential areas, business districts and mixed use areas,” said Byron.
Once approved by the state, the designation of an area in need of rehabilitation will give the city an edge in applying for public funding in the form of grants or low interest loans for infrastructure improvements, housing rehabilitation, improvement to streets, sidewalks and curbs and streetscape improvements, among others.
“If approved, this delineation will send a clear message to existing property owners, residents, retail and commercial businesses that deliberate steps are being taken to have a better understanding of the needs and issues that have lead to current conditions,” said Byron. “Equally as important, is that through this planning process an even better defined strategy for revitalization and reinvestment will evolve.”
“This is something that the city has been looking at,” said the commissioner. “We’ve been looking at ways to promote reinvestment into the community. We’re confident that an investment in Wildwood will be a successful one.”
Byron said being designated an area of in need of rehabilitation is a win/win situation for the city. “There is no downside. It’s a win/win for the municipality and taxpayers.”