By Sue Moore
The Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority (DDA) received 11 applications for the $23,475 the board will provide in facade improvement grants for stores on Main and Prairie Streets. A total of 10 projects qualified.
The projects include awnings, window replacements, signs, porch and balcony, brick restoration, and complete front facade upgrades.
Combined with other sources, including amounts from building owners, improvements are expected to cost approximately $78,000.
The authority’s contribution includes $10,000 from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) with no strings attached to the DDA for this project. The Authority added $13,475 to jump start the facial upgrade in hopes that customers and visitors to the village will see a marked improvement to the businesses, Kathleen Hoyle, DDA director said. “The objective of the Facade Improvement Grant Program is to assist businesses and commercial property owners with improving building appearance, while adhering to the Vicksburg DDA Downtown Design Guidelines and historic color selections.”
The grant will be provided in the form of a reimbursement of eligible costs incurred and paid, utilizing a construction draw process, once the improvements have been completed, inspected, and approved. The approved applicant must submit all paid invoices to the Authority before any reimbursement can be provided. Approved reimbursements will only be made to the building owner or lessee. Applicants must complete the façade improvement project within a four-month period following grant approval and date of the notification letter on May 17.
Besides the outright facade grant, the DDA also has a low-interest façade loan program for up to $10,000 over three years. The Vicksburg Foundation long ago gave the DDA the original $30,000 it currently had in the Façade Loan Fund. LISC is adding $50,000 to it now, so the fund now has a lending pool of $80,000.