Applications for Downtown Improvement Grant have been received, decisions to be made by early next week

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s $150,000 Downtown Improvement Grant awarded to the City of Elizabethton has reached the closing stages.

After holding a public interest meeting in early January of this year, Elizabethton Director of Planning and Economic Development Logan Engle and members of the First Tennessee Development District have received all applications and are now reviewing each before deciding who will receive funds.

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“We had 12 business owners submit applications to us for the Downtown Improvement Grant, and right now we are in the process of having those applications reviewed by our scorers,” Engle said.

Engle said the final decisions will be made by Monday.

During the public interest meeting, Engle announced that the city capped the maximum funds allowed for grants at $40,000 per individual project.

“This is a reimbursable grant program, which means that you have to front all of the money in the beginning stages. However, you are eligible for reimbursement up to 75 percent which is capped at $40,000,” Engle said.

Applications are being reviewed by members of The First Tennessee Development District, something to help reduce bias based on relationships with business owners.

And while the specifics of who and what each application entails are not available to be released at this time, more information will be known when grants are awarded on Monday.

“We are really excited about the number of applications we received,” Engle said. “We knew it was going to be a competitive grant, and we are excited to see the public support from downtown property owners who are interested in making improvements to their buildings.”