The Liberty Community Development Corporation met Tuesday night, April 20, and voted to expand the LCDC’s façade program. Originally, businesses in downtown Liberty were eligible to participate in the program, but the board expanded it to include those located on Main Street as well, according to Chris Jarmon, City of Liberty’s Assistant City Manager for Economic and Community Development.
“The program provides businesses with a 50 percent reimbursement (up to $20,000) for exterior repairs or remodels including, signage, windows, doors, landscaping, parking lots, driveways and other improvements,” said Jarmon. “The goal of the program is to assist with beautification and redevelopment of key commercial corridors.”
Jarmon is excited about the program expansion and hopes more businesses will take advantage of the opportunity provided by LCDC.
The downtown district is defined as located between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Grand Ave., and between Milam and San Jacinto streets. The Main Street area extends to the city limits on the north end of the city.
The program guidelines require:
- businesses must submit an application for assistance prior to work beginning on a project
- work must start within 180 days of the application being approved and finish within a one-year time period
- projects must be at least $3,000
- applicants must obtain two bids for the work they are proposing
- improvements must be made to maintain the historic appeal of the building being improved
- businesses must comply with city ordinances, building codes and ADA guidelines
Some of the previous LCDC grants went to Rodgers Pharmacy, Meadow Noyer AllState and First Liberty National Bank, according to Jarmon.
“We worked with Rodgers Pharmacy first on painting the exterior of the building. Now they are making repairs to the parking lot,” Jarmon said. “First Liberty National Bank made landscaping improvements and added benches. Meadow Noyer repaired the exterior of her building, installed new awnings and put up new signage.”
Noyer said the matching grant program allowed her to make more repairs that she initially anticipated. She was able to replace the roof of her building on the 334 block of Main Street and still have funds to repaint and reseal the front exterior, and make upgrades like installing another window.
“Having the LCDC grant allowed me to replace and install the awning across the whole front of my building, which not only benefited my AllState Insurance business but Pack, Ship & Copy, and The Health Fix,” Noyer said. All three businesses are located in Noyer’s building.
The amount of the LCDC grants vary, depending on the project, but reimbursements are 50 percent with a maximum reimbursement of $20,000. So if a project costs $30,000, the reimbursement would be $15,000.
In order to apply for the grant program, business owners are asked to contact Jarmon by calling 936-336-7118 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also download an application and other guidelines from the LCDC website, https://www.libertycdc.org/