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Property owners may get chance to rehab building facades again

April 30, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Property owners along the borough's Main Street may again be able to receive state funds to improve their buildings' facades.

Chambersburg Borough will apply this month for a $20,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the facade program.

The application is on behalf of Downtown Chambersburg Inc., which administered a similar $50,000 grant last year.

Assistant Borough Manager David Finch said last year's program was successful, with property owners matching about $2 for every state dollar.

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"We've all noticed the improvements," Councilman John Redding said.

This year's program would operate the same as last year's did if the state awards the grant.

Property owners would be able to receive up to $2,000 in matching funds from the grant. If a project costs $4,000, the owner would be eligible for $2,000 in grants. If it costs $2,000, the owner could get $1,000.

Property owners can receive an additional $500 for an awning or sign and $200 for architectural drawings, as the grant proposal is written. That means each property owner can receive a maximum of $2,700.

It will be several months before the borough is told whether it will receive the grant and the money becomes available.

Property owners in the primary downtown business district, between Falling Spring and Liberty Street, will be eligible for the grants.

They will have to pay $100 to apply for the matching funds, which will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

A design review committee will work with the property owners on their plans.

No one was sure if the program would be attractive to property owners when first applying for the grant last year, but the rapid response proved its allure.

Last summer, 27 Main Street property owners applied for grant money in the first three months and all were approved.

Between the grant and property owners, improvements - including painting, awnings and cornice work - totaled about $137,000.

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