Grants offered for downtown biz facade improvements

On April 1 the Miles City Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District launched the MC Downtown Facade Grant. This grant is available to downtown businesses to spruce up their store fronts before Bucking Horse Sale and the busy summer season begins. 

The only eligible storefronts are those on Main and the downtown side streets and along Seventh Street. 

The goal of the grant is to thank and help the downtown business owners that have been supportive throughout the establishing of the Miles City TIF District. The grant also aims to make revitalization efforts affordable by matching funds of up to $2,000. 

TIF Districts are a public financing method used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure and other community improvement projects. 

The TIF District Board will consider facade grants in larger amounts based on the proposed project. Applicants must match the amount of the grant with an equal or greater investment. 

The grant is funded by the Montana Main Street Program and the city. There is $12,000 allocated for facade projects while funds are available. Applications will be reviewed in the order received and awards will be based on readiness for the project to begin. 

“We want to do everything we can to leverage local business dollars as much as possible,” said Program Coordinator Connie Muggli, historic preservation officer and grant administrator. “We’re bringing money into the community.”

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

n Store signage (rehabilitating existing signage, including historic signage, ghost signage and historic neon signage) and removal of inappropriate or out-of-date signage.

The repair or installation of awnings.

Rehabilitation or compatible reconstruction of storefronts

Removal of non-historical elements from building facades such as metal and vinyl siding and exterior surfaces like wooden shingles.

Exterior cleaning, painting and/or paint removal.

Masonry repair and repainting, removal of paint over original brick, restoration of original brick.

Repair or replacement of architectural details or materials.

Window repair or in certain cases replacement.

Restoration or replacement of deteriorated or hazardous sidewalks.

Improvements to back or side street customer entrances of building in certain circumstances.

 

Grants will not be awarded for the following:

Improvements made prior to grant approval.

Interior rehabilitation unless it is essential to rehabilitate the building’s facade such as interior surfaces of large display windows.

Interior decoration.

Refinancing of existing debt.

Inventory and equipment.

Cost of permitting related to the project.

Sweat equity (payments for applicant’s own labor) but building materials/supplies are eligible for funding if the applicant does not use an outside contractor.

General business operations (payroll, taxes, etc.)

To fill out a grant application, you can download a form from the city’s website: milescity-mt.org. For more information, contact Program Administrator Connie Muggli at (406) 874-8616 or email her at cmuggli@milescity-mt.org