Spencer awards $35,000 to 15 businesses for property improvements

Published 12:05 am Thursday, January 13, 2022

SPENCER — The town awarded $35,000 in grant funding split between 15 local businesses to help make improvements to the fronts of their properties on Tuesday.

The town received 22 applications totaling $92,000 in requests for funding. The Spencer Community Appearance Committee and Historic Preservation Commission met in a special meeting to review applications and score them based on a rubric. The Board of Aldermen approved the recommendations on Tuesday.

The grant was specifically aimed at helping business transform the front facades of their facilities.

“I was blown away by the response we got,” Planner Kyle Harris said, adding the committees had hard choices to make and advised the staff should look for additional grant funding of this type.

Harris said the highest-scoring properties received the highest allotments while lower scoring projects received lower amounts of funding. In the case of the lowest scoring projects or those that did not meet the criteria for the grant, they were not awarded funding.

Alderman Andrew Howe recused himself of voting on the issue because The Band Attic, the Howe family business, was recommended for $1,250 to install a new awning and refurbish the front door. Applications for the grants opened before Howe was elected to the board in November.

The grant awardees are as follows:

  • One Take Prop Shop/Art Studio 415: $1,950 awarded to refinish the entrance including historic elements.
  • Washko Family Dentistry: $1,950 to paint the facade, update the windows, new signage and planters and cement cleaning among other enhancements.
  • Pinocchio’s: $3,500 to assist pressure washing the building, repainting exterior windows, installing new iron window planters, rooftop ivy planters, light fixtures, fencing for garden dining area and wood garbage shelters.
  • Roger Dogs: $2,500 to patch and repair facade elements.
  • Cornerstone Child Development Center: $3,500 to rehabilitate its facade including new planters, reconstructing the front porch replacing lighting, signage, front windows, siding and adding trees among other improvements.
  • Nebulux Music School: $3,500 for facade rehabilitation including a new awning, new light fixtures, outdoor seating, a projecting sign, masonry repair, new doors and painting.
  • Carolina Pickers: $2,250 for a window display case, signage, new awnings, window replacement and repairs, restoration and painting of metal scroll work architectural details.
  • Meals on Wheels: $1,950 to update storefront signage, repaint facade, install new planters and plants.
  • Raper’s of Spencer: $3,500 for new front siding, new front door, new planter boxes and signage.
  • The Band Attic: $1,250 for a new front awning and front door refurbishment.
  • Fleming Street: $2,050 for new planter boxes, outdoor dining amenities including tables, umbrellas and lighting.
  • Southern Roots Clothing: $2,050 for new outdoor benches, planter boxes and signage.
  • Cri’Styles Beauty Salon: $2,050 for new windows, shutters, exterior light fixtures, landscaping, repainting, a new mail box, gutters and signage.
  • Rob Nance Construction: $500 for repair and replacement of windows, a new awning and repainting.
  • The Art Planet Ateliers: $2,500 for new front hedge, gates, landscaping, lighting, ornamentation, repainting and replacement of windows.

Harris noted the grant follows the model of the city of Salisbury for its own facade grant.

Town staff will prepare contracts with businesses that were awarded and discuss expectations as well as notify businesses which did not receive funding.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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