Monday, January 22nd, 2018

CEDC awards 25th facade grant

The Clarendon Economic Development Corporation presented its 25th façade grant award to Signs Plus this week.

The business, located at US 287 and Gorst Street, received a check for $2,000 to help with the cost of its new awning, painting, and materials for new signage.

Owner Jody Berry has been in business for 19 years, the last 16 of which have been in the present location and said he learned about the façade grant program from JD SteakOut owner Jesus Hernandez.

CEDC President Robert Riza presents a façade grant award of $2,000 to Jody Berry of Signs Plus Tuesday morning. Also shown here are Sonia Thomas and Robbie Bullock. Other employees of Signs Plus are Terra Drackley, and Vince Bivens. Enterprise Photo / Roger Estlack

“The program helped out with the visual aspect [of the improvements] and made it look nicer and we were able to do more than we would have,” Berry said.

The sign-maker says he encourages other people to look into the façade grant program.

“People should definitely use what avenues they can use to make our town look nicer,” Berry said. “It can help you and help your business, too.”

Berry’s grant application was approved last year, and this week’s award closes out façade grant applications under the current program.

The CEDC suspended the façade grant program with the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 until the board can review program rules at its November meeting.

Since the Façade Grant Program began in 2008, the CEDC has awarded $32,382.04 to property owners in Clarendon, resulting in more than $64,764 in business improvements. The Façade Grant Program has provided 50-50 matching grants, up to a maximum of $2,000 per project, which could be any of a wide variety of projects, such as a coat of paint, new signage, sidewalk improvements, or a complete rehabilitation of a storefront.

Under current program guidelines, the façade grant program has granted awards to eligible properties located in the city’s entire Central Business District and on the US 287 corridor.

Next month, the CEDC will consider renewing the existing program while adding an option to provide larger cash awards to businesses on Kearney Street for renovations that are more in keeping with the historic appearance of downtown using streetscape plans by Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture as a guide.

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