ROSEBORO —With commissioners modifying the guidelines of the town’s facade grant program during a meeting earlier in the week, more businesses may be applying for grant money.
Guidelines to apply for the grant didn’t allow for the alteration of signs, but now, with changes from the board, sign alteration can be a part of the grant requests.
“I suggest we let it be a part of the grant,” commissioner Alice Butler said. “To me, it’s just as important as the appearance of a building or the awnings.”
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 and a total of three grants are awarded each year.
The board previously made changes to the grant guidelines that allowed all businesses within the town limits of Roseboro to be eligible for the grant. The grant funds were restricted and only available to businesses in the downtown area.
One businessman in Roseboro reported to commissioners that the facade grant program is one that provides property owners or business tenants an opportunity to renovate their building facades while implementing appropriate design standards and preserving the unique architectural and commercial character of Roseboro.
With the program being so beneficial, Butler said that she felt the grant could be better utilized if the alteration of signs could be acceptable.
According to the program’s guidelines, a facade is defined as one side of a building regardless of the number of stories. Each store front of a building can be considered a facade and the rear of a building may also be considered for the facade grant, with priority given to the front of the building. The program is intended to encourage and provide incentives for the renovation of buildings in the downtown area. Within the renovation, the program clearly states the design must be appropriate for historical standards and preservation of the unique architectural character must be kept.
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.
Members of the facade grant committee are David Alexander, Anthony Bennett and Tony Blalock.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.