Façade grant program receives some fine-tuning

By Lisa Morton

The Van Horn Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has approved revisions to the Facade Improvement Grant Program. While the method to streamline the process is still under review, the new information and application will be available at City Hall soon. Meanwhile, interested parties can email EDC President Becky Brewster at [email protected] The plan is to research other similar size EDCs to determine the best ways to accept applications.

The facade grant is for businesses seeking to spruce up core city properties. The facade grant program is open to applicants planning exterior improvements to buildings used for retail purposes in Van Horn, Texas. Some grant guidelines are: determination of what a facade is, who is eligible, the purpose of the facade improvement program, criteria, and examples of improvements.

The EDC has outlined the following ten steps of the application process:

  1. Property owner/tenant considers Facade Improvement Grant, reviews application for basic information.
  2. Property owner/tenant contacts the Van Horn Economic Development Board for further information or questions.
  3. Property owner/tenant contacts contractors.
  4. Contractors complete estimates of cost and completion time.
  5. Property owner submits Facade Grant Application to the Van Horn Economic Development Corporation.
  6. Application approval or denial by Van Horn Economic Development Corporation.
  7. Project begins with approval of grant application.
  8. Project completed.
  9. Paid invoices and cancelled checks submitted to Van Horn Economic Development Corporation.
  10. Grant payment from the Van Horn Economic Development Corporation.

Facade Grants will be given on the basis of $1 maximum reimbursement for each $1 the owner/tenant spends on rehabilitation, up to $3,000 per facade. A minimum of $250 must be spent. Each year the VHEDC has limited funds set aside for reimbursements for facade improvements, consult with the VHEDC to determine availability.

The final award amount is based on the documentation of actual costs. Facade Grants are paid only when the approved project is completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications submitted with the application. The VHEDC Chairs will inspect and sign-off on Completed work prior to issuance of grant award.

Completed work that differs from the approved application will be disqualified for reimbursement.

Reimbursement checks will be made by the VHEDC within two weeks of sign-off of completed work and documentation of payment of said work.

In addition, the VHEDC has set some Approval criteria and Post-Approval criteria in the guidelines for the application process.

The VHEDC hopes you will take advantage of this program and give your business a facelift to attract more customers and create economic growth for the whole town.