Matching grants are available for exterior improvements on historic buildings in downtown Elkin thanks to the Elkin Main Street Advisory Board.
With only $5,000 available for the 2017-18 fiscal year, those eligible are encouraged to apply early for one of the 50/50 matching grants.
“All buildings in the downtown Municipal Service District are encouraged to apply if they are considering a renovation on their building’s exterior,” said Laura Gaylord, Main Street and community manager.
The grants are intended to keep Elkin as an accredited NC Main Street Community, which means complying with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation for the contributing buildings, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Most buildings in downtown Elkin are contributing,” said Gaylord, “however there are a few that did not qualify at the time the assessment was done in the early 2000s.
“Last year, the Main Street Advisory Board awarded three applicants façade grants, and the finished work was exemplary,” she said. “Mark and Debra Imbus completed a beautiful historic renovation on West Main Street and used the façade grant to assist with costs associated with restoring the old E&A ticket office’s windows and doors.”
“It was a painless process,” said Debra Imbus, who “spent quite a lot” to achieve her historical renovation. “I took a few pictures, put it together, wrote a few things up and I got $1,000.”
Brent and Jennifer Kleinheksel with Crystal Morphis shared one façade on separate buildings with the grant helping to cover the cost of painting the building face.
“Both projects also took advantage of the free design service provided by the NC Main Street Center, which currently the design students from UNCG tackle as assignments during their college semester,” said Gaylord.
The grants offered include three $1,000, two $500 and one $1,000 50/50 matching grant focusing on a mural project in downtown.
“Some buildings may not qualify for a mural project based on the type of exterior wall,” said Gaylord, noting that these particular funds are hoped to be spent on Main Street with all mural ideas being approved by the MSAB.
These unique grants are being offered in anticipation of the 2018 commemoration of 20 years of participation in the NC Main Street Center’s Program.
“[The program] focuses on downtown redevelopment, promotions and design as catalysts for economic success,” said Gaylord, noting that only selected communities throughout North Carolina are eligible to participate.
“Elkin is an accredited NC Main Street Community and is honored to continually showcase fine examples of downtown development, even for a small town of 4,000,” said Gaylord, who is very proud of her town.
“In the past, Elkin has been awarded recognition for The Liberty redevelopment project and The Downtown Murals Project, and nominates Elkin Main Street Champions every year,” said Gaylord.
Although the MSAB attempts to fund these grants, the more contributions from others, the more beautification projects can take place.
“The Main Street Advisory Board has a very limited annual budget for funding projects and maintaining downtown,” said Gaylord, “and is seeking interested individuals or businesses who may wish to contribute to the façade grant funds to encourage further beautification in downtown.”
To become a contributor or recipient, contact Gaylord at 336-794-6469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information including the application for the façade/mural grant can be found at www.elkinmainstreet.com.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.