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Ravenna  – Portage County residents looking to make home improvements this year can do so at a discount, thanks to a partnership between the Portage County Treasurer’s Office and three local banks.

The program, initiated by Treasurer Brad Cromes in 2015, makes up to $1 million dollars available for lending from Hometown Bank, Middlefield Banking Company, and Portage Community Bank.  For the first five years of any loans issued under the program, borrowers receive a significant interest rate discount (up to 3%).  After that time, the rate returns to market levels.  Loans are available for improvements to single-family homes with an appraised value of $175,000 or less.

Treasurer Cromes, in explaining the reasoning for the program, said “Many residents in the County have delayed home improvements for a long time. This program offers a way to do those things that doesn’t break the bank.”  While the program requires the County to take a short-term reduction in its investment income, Cromes asserts that reduction will be recouped over time in improved and stabilized property values.  “What we give up in interest income we regain in community investment.  Making sure residents have the resources they need to maintain and improve their property benefits all of us.”

To sign up for the program, residents must complete an application at the Hometown Bank and Portage Community Bank branches in Ravenna and Kent, or the Middlefield Banking Company branch in Mantua.  Once approved, borrowers have one year to complete their projects and submit receipts to the Treasurer’s Office.

For more information, please call the Treasurer’s Office at 330-297-3586, Hometown Bank at 330-677-6026, Middlefield Banking Company at 330-247-0881, or Portage Community Bank at 330-296-8090.