DEKALB COUNTY – An Upper Cumberland city has received a $100,000 Commercial Façade Improvement Grant to help with downtown improvements. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced Thursday nearly $750,000 in funds were awarded overall.
Smithville’s grant – one of nine awarded – can be used for improvements including new awnings and signs, painting, windows and doors, brick repair and other upgrades, officials said. Commercial Façade Improvement Grants are derived from Tennessee’s federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and are used to improve commercial buildings in downtown districts that have active revitalization programs in place through the Tennessee Main Street and Tennessee Downtowns programs.
“The downtown area is the heartbeat of a city and these communities are taking steps to help their downtowns thrive,” Haslam said. “I congratulate the nine communities awarded…this round.They are moving their downtowns in the right direction and helping us reach our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“With (this) assistance…these communities will be able to improve their downtown districts and attract new business,” Boyd added. “With renovations like these, the nine communities that were awarded these grants will be able to succeed in our state which will promote future growth in each community.”
The 2016 commercial façade grantees are:
Athens – $100,000
Bolivar – $79,250
Dyersburg – $100,000
Lebanon – $100,000
Mountain City – $50,000
Rogersville – $100,000
Savannah – $100,000
Smithville – $100,000
Tiptonville – $20,000
Seven of the nine grantees are accredited Tennessee Main Street communities; two are Tennessee Downtowns communities, including Smithville. Each is required to provide a 25 percent match for the funds and administer the façade improvement programs.
This is the fourth annual round of Commercial Façade Improvement Grants.
Each application was supported by the community’s senator and representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly. The next round of this program will launch in May 2017.