JASPER – The City of Jasper and Heart of Jasper, the city’s Main Street program, are coordinating to offer another round of facade grants to improve building exteriors in the downtown and riverfront areas.
New in 2024 is a reimbursement program for signs. According to a press release from Heart of Jasper, the goal is to create unified signage in the downtown.
Heart of Jasper will grant funds toward new or updated signs on the buildings located on the Dubois County Courthouse square. The applicants will be awarded 100% of the approved project up to $800. There is no minimum requirement. The sign design must meet the guidelines and be approved by the Heart of Jasper Design Advisory Committee.
Because the sign program is a priority this funding cycle, any remaining funds will be used for façade projects. The eligible projects and guidelines remain the same as the previous years. Facade grants will be awarded for 50% of the approved improvements. The minimum project plan must be over $5,000. The maximum match will be $10,000.
A building or business owner is allowed to apply for funding for both the sign reimbursement and facade grant.
Facade program building on success
“The Façade Grant program has been instrumental in revitalizing the downtown,” said Kate Schwenk, Heart of Jasper director. “The program began in 2021 and quickly gained popularity. Each year more and more building owners express interest in restoring and improving the façades of their buildings. The façade improvements help attract tenants to fill vacant space which in turn benefits all of the businesses downtown. We really appreciate the City of Jasper for initiating and funding this program.”
Five buildings received grants the first year. In 2022, the program provided $59,000 in grants that were matched with $223,000 in private investment, according to Heart of Jasper. A total of seven buildings were improved that year.
In 2023, Heart of Jasper received 11 applications; seven projects were awarded grants. The total amount of private invested dollars for the 2023 downtown façade projects is more than $177,000, according to Heart of Jasper.
In the past three years, 19 facade projects have been completed with a total private investment of $339,000.
Grants will be awarded on a reimbursement basis, following an application procedure, design review, approval, and construction. Disbursement is contingent upon submission of cost invoices from contractors and tradesmen and inspection work by the Heart of Jasper Design Advisory Committee.
The deadline to apply for a facade grant in 2024 is Feb. 22. Winners will be announced March 8. Guidelines and criteria to apply can be found online at www.heartofjasper.org. For additional information, contact Kate Schwenk at firstname.lastname@example.org.