Beau­ti­fi­ca­tion grants un­der review

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Janelle Jessen Staff Writer jjessen@nwadg.com

Main Street Siloam Springs is giv­ing out $7,500 in match­ing grants to help down­town busi­ness own­ers beau­tify the ex­te­ri­ors of their build­ings.

The down­town im­prove­ment com­mit­tee is re­view­ing 11 pro­pos­als — more than twice as many as were submitted last year — and ex­pects to be able to fund more than half of them, ac­cord­ing to Kelsey Howard, di­rec­tor of Main Street Siloam Springs. The dead­line for grant ap­pli­ca­tions was Oct. 26.

Once the ap­pli­ca­tions are ap­proved by the com­mit­tee, they will be re­viewed by the Main Street Siloam Springs Board, be­fore be­ing sent to Main Street Arkansas for a fi­nal review by their ex­te­rior de­sign con­sul­tant team. The re­cip­i­ents of the grants will be an­nounced in com­ing weeks and will have un­til May to com­plete their projects, Howard said.

The Glo­ria McEn­roe Build­ing Im­prove­ment Match­ing Grant matches up $1,500 per build­ing, with pri­or­ity given to projects that re­store his­toric build­ings, ac­cord­ing to the grant ap­pli­ca­tion.

Busi­nesses are re­quired to match one-third of the grant, Howard said.

Ex­am­ples of pre­vi­ous projects in­clude up­dates to sig­nage, re­pair or re­place­ment of wood win­dows and doors, restora­tion of store fronts and ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments, and ad­di­tion or re­pair of awnings, canopies or mar­quees.

Main Street Arkansas has a de­sign con­sul­tant who works with busi­ness own­ers to help them de­velop im­prove­ment plans, both for the grant pro­gram and oth­er­wise, Howard said.

Restor­ing the ex­te­ri­ors of com­mer­cial build­ings is an im­por­tant part of the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of the Main Street dis­trict, the ap­pli­ca­tion states. Main Street works closely with down­town busi­ness own­ers, of­fer­ing both tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance, to help pre­serve the area’s ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage. The com­mit­tee will give pref­er­ence to im­prove­ments that make a space more ac­ces­si­ble such as wheel­chair ramps and au­to­mated doors, the ap­pli­ca­tion states.

“Our mis­sion is to im­prove the ac­ces­si­bil­ity, the aes­thet­ics and the in­fra­struc­ture of down­town as driven by the Mas­ter Plan,” Howard said. “The com­mit­tee is pri­mar­ily con­cerned with im­ple­ment­ing

Our mis­sion is to im­prove the ac­ces­si­bil­ity, the aes­thet­ics and the in­fra­struc­ture of down­town as driven by the Mas­ter Plan. Kelsey Howard Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Main Street Siloam Springs

the Mas­ter Plan and just hav­ing fun do­ing it be­cause there are so many dif­fer­ent as­pects… and so many pages of the Mas­ter Plan, there is some­thing for ev­ery­one to take own­er­ship of and feel pas­sion­ate about.”

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