The Bank of LaFayette, Cohutta Banking Co. and AmSouth provided funds for the first facade grant last year and have committed funds again this year, DDA vice chairman Jim Cole said. Gateway Bank, which is building a branch office on U.S. 27, also pledged its support.
The DDA is thrilled that these banks believe in revitalizing downtown LaFayette and are willing to invest in those efforts, Cole said.
Grant funds are available for, but not limited to: display windows, exterior paint, awnings, signs/signage improvements, entryways, exterior lighting and brick/mortar facade rehabs.
Josh Chapman received the DDAs first facade grant last year. We hope Joshs project has started a ripple effect that leads to sprucing up other storefronts, he said.
The number and amount of cash match grants awarded will depend on the number and total project cost of applications submitted, Cole said. The grants are reimbursements, and projects must comply with the DDAs design guidelines. The minimum DDA match will be 20 percent.
The minimum project total cost is $2,000; however, smaller projects may be considered. Building owners and businesses, with the building owners permission, are eligible to apply.
For the 2007 fiscal year program, AmSouth, which merged with Regions Bank, pledged $1,000. The Bank of LaFayette, Cohutta Banking Co. and Gateway Bank committed $2,000 each.
The downtown business district stretches along two corridors: Main Street from the Hendrix Street on the north to Fortune Street on the south, on the east on Duke Street from the U.S. Farm Service Agency south to the LaFayette library, and west along Patton and Villanow streets over to Chattanooga Street.
Applications, design guidelines and more information on program requirements are available at the Main Street and Economic Development Department office in LaFayette City Hall on South Duke Street and by calling (706) 639-1519.
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