Ahoskie Façade Grants awarded

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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AHOSKIE – The Town of Ahoskie continues in its effort to spruce up Main Street.

At a special called meeting here Feb. 9, the Ahoskie Town Council awarded over $41,000 in funding from its Main Street Façade Grant Program.

The program assists property and business owners located within an identified area on Main Street, from its intersections with Academy Street and Catherine Creek Road, to undertake storefront or building front improvements. This grant includes businesses that are up to a one block radius of Main Street on side streets. These improvements can range from minor repairs and painting, roof work, and for substantial façade renovations on buildings used as commercial businesses or offices.

There have been two previous rounds of funding from which the town awarded grants totaling $107,335.48.

The town was originally awarded $150,000 from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. That left a balance of $42,664.52.

In December of last year, Ahoskie officials said that balance was offered to qualifying businesses as long as they applied by Feb. 8, 2024. Businesses that received a previous Façade Grant were eligible to reapply.

Each grant recipient is required to match the amount of money they are awarded.

There were seven applicants for the latest round of funding. Five of those had received previous grants.

Following a short discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, the Council decided to award each of those seven applicants with one-half of their requested amounts (shown in parenthesis) as follows:

Andre Lassiter of Alpha Group Ins. at 214 West Main Street ($4,900);

Robert Keys of CKTF Properties at 217 West Main Street ($12,500);

Tommy Hurdle and Bobby Hoggard at 107/109 North Railroad Street ($8,000);

Jennifer Joyner of LimeLight Theater/Studios at 131 East Main Street ($2,820.62);

Steven and Celestine Moore at 128 East Main Street ($1,250);

Christian Sidaros of Premier Global Imports at 113 South Railroad Street ($8,000); and

Tyler Hughes of Church at the Crossroads at 203 East Main Street ($4,037.09).

Upon acceptance of the grants, the recipients have until May 9 to complete the work on their property.

The remaining balance of just over $1,100 was a topic of discussion among the Council members.

“Can the Town Hall use any of that money for anything,” asked Councilman David Hunt.

Interim Town Manager Jennifer Bracy answered that it could be used help offset the cost of painting the exterior of the building. An earlier quote to perform that work was around $3,000.

“We can look at what can be done at the Town Hall, get quotes for that proposed work, and come back before you for a decision,” Bracy suggested.

Hunt motioned for the seven applicants for the latest round of the Main Street Façade Grant funding to receive one-half of what each requested and the remaining funds used by the Town Hall. Councilman Charles Freeman offered a second and the motion was approved without objection.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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