At their meeting Monday, Aug. 16, the Chariton City Council approved a letter of support for the Iowa Economic Development’s Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant application for Chariton.

Christopher Watkins and his wife Rachel Watkins Schoenig are the ones interested in applying for the Main Street Challenge Grant to do renovations of the property they own at 114 N. Grand St. on the east side of the Chariton square. This building is just south across the alley from the Palmer building at 116 N. Grand.

Watkins and Watkins Schoenig plan to do renovations on the building at 114 N. Grand that include having upper story housing and adding an outdoor elevator to the facility.

“They are looking at the long-term ability to provide housing opportunities for residents of all ages and needs with the renovations,” Chariton City Manager Laura Liegois said.

It’s not known how much the grant will be for yet. The Challenge Grant allows for a 50 percent match for building renovation repairs in a community that is a designated Main Street Community like Chariton is. The owners will be responsible for their 50 percent of the matching funds.

Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street will submit the grant application on the property owners’ behalf. Liegois explained that the City of Chariton is required to provide a letter of support to accompany the grant application. Since the letter of support was approved, it will be sent in with the grant application for the property at 114 N. Grand St.

In the letter of support written to the Iowa Economic Development Agency, Chariton Mayor Denny Bisgard states, “The application being submitted for 114 N. Grand St. will help with enhancing the downtown area of Chariton with more opportunities for upper story housing. The plans presented in the grant allow for anyone to enjoy the living on the Chariton downtown square with making access to the upper story of the building with an outdoor elevator. We’re also pleased to see new life into a building that has been vacant in the past years.”

Mayor Bisgard also stated in the letter that the City of Chariton agrees that the property submitted for consideration in this application will comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for historic property rehabilitation.

“Our staff will work with the property owner and Chariton Main Street to ensure codes and standards are executed throughout the project, if awarded the Main Street Challenge Grant,” Mayor Bisgard said in the letter.