The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


December 13, 2013

First Main Street Façade grants awarded

TARBORO — The first three grants were awarded by the Tarboro Town Council Monday night as part of the Main Street Facade program.

The project, designed to promote economic development in downtown, is funded with a $4,000 grant from Electricities Smart Communities program and $4,000 budgeted by the town council.
The program is a 50 percent matching grant program, meaning the amount of the grant will be equal to 50 percent of the cost of the improvement with a maximum award of $2,000.

Brewer’s  Fine Jewelry, 228 Main St., was the first announced recipient. Owner Kenny Brewer applied for the grant to replace the store’s awning and to repaint windows.

The cost of Brewer’s project was bid at $1,758, which means he qualified for a grant of $879.

Dean Bryan of Bryan Drugs, 421 Main St., applied for the grant to replace his facility’s 42-year-old front doors and to do work on the storefront. Bryan’s project was bid at $1,420, meaning he qualified for a grant of $720.

The third project was submitted by Mary Ann Holderness, owner of Rusty’s Gifts at 403 N. Main St. Holderness plans to use the money to update windows that leak and to match glass in the front windows so that it will have the same appearance.

Holderness’ project was bid at $716.49, qualifying her for a grant of $358.25.

“Downtown is very important to the community and is a huge economic development tool,” Edmondson said. “We have some very dedicated business owners who want to grow.”

Edmondson told council members these were just the first applications to consider and that several, larger projects were in the final stages and would be submitted soon.

Monday’s grant awards ate up about 25 percent of the available funds.

To be considered business operators and property owners must make application. The applications must include a detailed description of the project as well as at least five color photographs of the existing façade. Also, a design plan and sketches must be included along with an itemized project cost estimate and a letter of permission for project participation from the property owner. Applicants are also required to get bids on their respective project.

“In the instances where the business operator is not the property owner, we just want to know that the owner is supportive,” Edmondson said. Applications are reviewed by the Tarboro Main Street Façade Committee , which is comprised of made up of people we’ve sought out by the town staff who have an interest and background in architecture and will not include any town employee.

“We want it to be (a) very fair (process),”

Edmondson said.

Eligibility guidelines include:

• Any property owner or business tenant located in the Central Business District on Main Street and between West Wilson and the Roundabout is eligible to apply.

• Private dwellings are not eligible unless they originally functioned as a commercial building.

• Only one application may be submitted for each façade per calendar year.

• Owners of multiple properties shall only be eligible for one façade grant per calendar year.

• If a building has multiple units, each tenant with a separate entrance may apply.

• A business tenant must obtain the property owner’s written consent for façade renovation and must submit it with the application.

Grants are awarded on a first-come basis subject to available monies and applicants must first meet with Edmondson, as program administrator, to review preliminary plans and requirements.

Persons interested in the program or wanting more information are asked to contact Edmondson at 641-4249 or by email at


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