State awards $500K to 6 cities for commercial facade improvements

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Six cities, including Sevierville, were awarded state funds Tuesday to improve their downtowns.

Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe recently approved $500,000 in Commercial Facade Improvement Grants to assist communities with downtown improvements.

The grants are used to improve commercial buildings in downtown districts that have active revitalization programs in place through the Tennessee Main Street and Tennessee Downtowns programs. Grants can be used for improvements including new awnings and signs, painting, windows and doors, brick repair and other upgrades.

The program is funded through the Rural Economic Opportunity Act passed by the Tennessee General Assembly.

“Downtown districts are what make a community unique,” Lee said. “With the assistance of the Commercial Facade Improvement Grants, the six communities that have been awarded these funds will be able to improve their downtown districts, which will promote future growth.”

Sevierville, Columbia, Gainseboro and Pulaski were awarded $100,000 each. Brownsville and Selmer were awarded $50,000.

“These grants are designed to help communities update their downtown districts and help improve businesses that are in the heart of our downtowns,” Rolfe said. “I appreciate these communities for taking advantage of this program and look forward to seeing what each community has in store in the future.”

Four of the six grantees are accredited Tennessee Main Street communities, and two are Tennessee Downtowns communities. Each property owner is required to provide a 25% match for the funds and administer the facade improvement program.

This is the seventh annual round of Commercial Facade Improvement Grants. The program has committed more than $3 million in improvements through 50 grants across the state.

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