Facade grant applications rejected due to lack of details

Rick Wagner • Jan 10, 2007 at 11:24 AM

KINGSPORT - The latest entries in the downtown business facade contest must go back to the drawing board.

The Kingsport Economic Development Board Tuesday took no action on six facade grant applications reviewed Monday by the Facade Grant Committee chaired by KEDB Vice Chairman Bob Feathers.

Feathers said the applications were for worthy projects, but the board did not recommend any for approval because they did not include the detail required by the rules of the grant, administered by the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) and funded by the KEDB.

The projects can include window replacement, brick work, signs and other improvements, but all have to meet city codes.

The grants, for which $17,500 of $50,000 in initial funding remains, will pay up to 50 percent of facade costs for qualifying projects. Single facades can receive up to $5,000, while corner buildings can receive up to $10,000. No more than 50 percent of the cost can be covered by the grant, which is given only after the work is done.

Notices are going out to the latest applicants, inviting them to resubmit applications with the more detailed information.

John and Angela Vachon, owners of Urban Synergy, requested an additional $2,500 for the old First National Bank building at 251 Broad St. to add to the $7,500 already won for the corner building.

Other applicants considered Monday were Beatty-Lane Development LLC, which applied for 242 E. Main St.; "Holly" (no last name given) for 244 E. Main St., which houses Pappy's Custom Motorcycle; John D. Parker Jr. for 115-117-119 Broad St., which houses his law office and Broad Street Barbecue; Aaron Carson for 345 E. Sullivan St., where his business The Mint is located; and Carson for 107 E. Market St.

The previously approved grants went to three Vachon-owned buildings and one owned by Carson.

Aundrea Wilcox, executive director of KOSBE, urged all applicants to carefully review the application and ask any questions before filling out the document.

In addition, she said KOSBE can help direct downtown businesses and building owners to a Micro Loan pool and federal energy efficiency grants.

KEDB member Lynn Johnson asked if the board would not provide further funding when the remaining $17,500 was committed, and Chairman Larry Estepp said that would be likely.

For more information about the facade grant program contact Wilcox at 392-8801 or by e-mail at awilcox@kosbe.org or contact NETWORKS – Sullivan Partnership Director of Business Development Betty Martin at 279-7682 or bmartin@networkstn.com.

Plans are for the grant application to be available online, but Wilcox said it is not yet.

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