ROSEBORO — Guidelines for the Roseboro Facade Grant were changed during the last meeting, all in an effort to provide more businesses opportunities for improvement.
The facade grant is an incentive-based measure to encourage and provide an economic incentive for the renovation of building facades in the Roseboro town limits, implementation of appropriate design standards for the rehabilitation of potentially historic buildings and preservation of the unique architectural and commercial character of the town.
According to Roseboro mayor Alice Butler, the Facade Grant Committee made a few changes to the grant, and requested the board approve the changes during a recent meeting.
The program, which was established in 2009, was initially governed by the Main Street Committee. At the collapse of that committee, the grant has been overseen by the town. Within the town’s budget, $6,000 has been set aside yearly. The grant will provide a dollar for dollar match, up to $2,000 for each project.
Butler said the current grant guidelines only allowed for three grants to be distributed on a yearly basis, but the new guidelines will allow for a maximum of $6,000 to be spent on any number of businesses.
“For two or three years there wasn’t a grant awarded,” commissioner Ray Clark Fisher said. “That money needs to be rolled over so that we can help as many businesses as possible.”
Facade Improvement Grants will provide 50 percent reimbursement for the first $4,000 spent on an approved project. The maximum amount reimbursed on any approved project will be $2,000.
“I’d hate to turn someone away because we are limiting it to three total grants,” commissioner Richard Barefoot said. “I think it’s a good idea to maximize how many grants we give out for a total of $6,000 each year.”
Facade grant funds can be used for the removal of false fronts and metal canopies, safe cleaning of brick and stone fronts, installation of appropriate signage, canvas awning installation, window and door repairs, repainting, structural repair, historic renovations, landscaping including sidewalks and plantings and replacing or adding address information to a structure.
Any property owner or business tenant in a commercial building in the project area is eligible to apply for the grant. Government facilities and private dwellings are excluded from consideration.
Applicants are eligible to apply for the grant funding every three years and the grant expires 12 months from the date of approval. Checks will be issued to the business at the completion of the work. Once approved, property owners have up to four months to begin their project.
The facade grant was initially created by using funds from interest off of the Revolving Loan program. For the last couple of years, it has mainly been funded by the town’s general fund and was created to initiate interest in cleaning up and fixing up buildings downtown. The program’s goal is to award three grants each year.
Updates to the facade grant guidelines have been done, Butler said, in an effort to gain more businesses utilizing the grant.
“People can use this to make the downtown area look better,” Butler shared.
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