Spencer board approves grant for home improvements

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015

By David Purtell


SPENCER — Spencer’s Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved a new grant program focused on encouraging home improvements.

The grant, in an effort to foster neighborhood revitalization, offers up to $500 in reimbursements to property owners and tenants who fix up the exterior of residential properties in the town’s historic district.

The grant offers $1 in reimbursements for every $2 spent on renovations. People apply for the grant before they begin a project to find out if they qualify. For projects that do qualify, the reimbursement would come after the project is completed and the Board of Aldermen has given final approval.

Individual properties can be awarded the grant once every five years. Spencer also has a similar grant for improvements to facades of commercial properties.
During the meeting, which lasted less than an hour, the board approved a contract with a consulting firm regarding the town’s and East Spencer’s Comprehensive Bike and Pedestrian Plan. The contract totals $40,000 and is with a planning firm called Stewart Inc.
Last year, the towns, together, were awarded a grant from the state for bike and pedestrian planning. The grant is worth up to $40,000 with a 10 percent match. Spencer will pay the $4,000 match, and East Spencer will reimburse Spencer $2,000.

The planning process will include meetings between Stewart and the grant’s steering committee and also public open houses. The first open house is tentatively scheduled for May 28 at at 5:30 p.m at Spencer’s 8th Street Park.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• set June 9 as the date for the public hearing for the town’s 2015-2016 fiscal year budget. The hearing will be during the board’s regular meeting. Town Manager Larry Smith said he expects a draft of the budget to be finished within a week.

• approved an agreement with NCDOT to install a sign on southbound Interstate 85 indicating “Spencer next 3 exits.” The cost of the sign and installation is $1,800, which the town will pay. The exits are 79, 81 and 84.

• approved an agreement to have the town continue participating in the North Carolina Small Town Main Street program for 2015-2016.

Contact Reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.