Update: Brentwood City Council Agrees to Outdoor Dining Furniture Grant Program

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On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council unanimously supported a Resolution to approve an Outdoor Dining Furniture Grant Program.

The move comes after the council brought forward the idea at the September 24, 2019 meeting to assist local business with the purchase of furniture, umbrellas and other approved merchandise.

The action also comes as local business in Brentwood is dealing with limitations to operations during COVID-19 where some have created new or expanded existing outdoor serving areas. The city has also developed a no-fee temporary outdoor dining permit that provides flexibility for local dining establishments to expand their outdoor footprint. Due to the economic benefits of outdoor dining, some businesses are now seeking to install permanent outdoor dining areas with new railings, outdoor furniture and shading

After the city council opted to allocate $20k in funding for high quality outdoor dining fixtures and furniture in September, city staff took an online poll with 150 licensed food and beverage establishments, there was an interest in receiving funds to expanded outdoor dining opportunities.

The grant opportunity grew to $25,000 for Downtown and $50,000 for all other areas of the city. Grants will be provided based on a first come, first serve basis–each business is eligible for up to $5k.

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor called it a great program.

“I want it all over the city. The more we can expand this service, people enjoy it but in the summer they are going to need some type of shade and maybe misters. That is where some of the enhancements come in,” explained Taylor.

Councilman Johnny Rodriguez said he was all for it.

“I think its not only a great opportunity for downtown, but for the whole community for all the local businesses in the city of Brentwood. Its going to be a great thing,” stated Rodriguez.

Councilwman Karen Rarey agreed saying that with social distancing they need to allow their local businesses to expand if it can be done safely.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of the grant program,

Staff will coordinate with the businesses to ensure compliance with development standards governing each business’s zoning district

The costs associated with the Outdoor Dining Furniture Grant Program, if approved, will be funded by the General Fund through the 2019/20 Strategic Plan, Focus Area 3, Economic Development Strategic Initiative budget, The elimination of fees for permitting of this program would reduce the General Fund revenues by the amount of the associated fees.

3 COMMENTS

    • One positive that has come out of this pandemic craziness, is that our politicians have really shown us their priorities. Now it’s up to us to do something with that information…vote them out!

  1. This actually makes some sense. Spend a relatively small amount of money (in government terms) to

    a) Provide a direct benefit to residents tired of SIP
    b) Help local businesses make a meager living and pay their employees
    c) Get a return on investment from several different tax revenue sources that have otherwise dried up since March.

    A much more proactive and insightful idea rather than the open-ended proposals from our county and state government that can only think of ways add further restrictions on our lives while at the same time propose to increase taxes to squeeze all of us just a little tighter.

    I may not agree with all Brentwood government proposals, but this is an “invest a little to help many” plan.

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