Murfreesboro to dole out façade grants

Published 3:21 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

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MURFREESBORO – Businesses on Main Street in Murfreesboro will have the chance to apply for funding to make repairs or improvements to the exterior of their buildings.

The Murfreesboro Town Council approved opening up applications for façade grants at their meeting here March 23.

The money for the façade grants will come from the Main Street program funds which were awarded to the town from the state budget that was signed into law late last year. Murfreesboro received a total of $150,000 to use for revitalizing Main Street and making improvements to the area. $20,000 of those funds will be doled out as façade grants.

Mayor Hal Thomas noted that it would not be one business receiving that full amount, but several businesses receiving smaller amounts, with $5,000 as the maximum any business can receive.

“There are several places in town that need the front of the buildings straightened up,” Thomas said.

The deadline to apply is May 25, 2022.

According to the application guidelines, any property/business owner located within the Downtown Business District is eligible to apply, and the property does not have to occupied at the time the application is submitted. Private dwellings are not eligible.

The grant program is designed to serve several purposes for the downtown district, such as renovating commercial building exteriors, implementing design standards for historic properties, actively promoting an attractive Main Street, and preserving the unique architectural and commercial character of downtown.

Some examples of façade improvements can include safe cleaning of brick storefronts, exterior painting/repainting, historic reconstruction, awning installation, sign and/or exterior lighting installation, landscaping, and more.

There is no match required from the property owner/tenant. Reimbursement of funds will be made after the approved project is completed.

Council member Jay Revelle motioned to approve the façade grant program, and council member Berna Stephens seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.

In the past few months, the town council has discussed a variety of options for spending the Main Street program funds. They approved a capital project ordinance for the project at their meeting on Feb. 9.

Potential Main Street projects include enhanced lighting, more Christmas decorations, a new welcome sign at the entrance to town, cameras, a mural, and much more.

Those projects currently remain in the discussion phase, with the façade grant applications being the only action the council has taken so far. The council is also working with the town’s beautification committee on suggestions.