It gives me great pleasure to announce The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently passed a resolution approving the Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program. As liaison to the Department of Economic Development and the originator of the Grow Monmouth initiative already in place, I am very proud to have been an instrumental part of the Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program. This is yet another example of the county’s commitment to our business world and to the continued promotion of economic growth within our county.
The program, the newest initiative under our Grow Monmouth program, uses HUD Community Development Block Grant funds that were de-obligated by grantees to help privately held commercial buildings that are located in eligible areas improve the look of their businesses. NO county funds are used for the program.
Staff from Economic Development and Division of Planning will administer the program. There are no matching funds required from the business or the county. A total of $75,000 has been set aside for this program.
HUD eligible areas include all or part of 26 of the county’s municipalities. Eligible areas within each of these municipalities can be located on the Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement website. (www.visitmonmouth.com). Towns that receive their own HUD funding directly are not eligible to participate in this program (examples Asbury, Long Branch and Middletown).
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has established the Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program to provide businesses with funds to assist with the improvement of business facades and the replacement of deteriorated or poor quality commercial signs and awnings.
Grants for façade improvements are intended to fund 100% of the project cost up to a maximum of $1,850.00. Total project costs cannot exceed this amount and cannot be part of a larger building façade improvement project.
The program is managed through the efforts of the Grow Monmouth Committee, a committee designated specifically for this program, comprised of staff from the Monmouth County Department of Economic Development, the Monmouth County Division of Planning (Office of Community Development). The Grow Monmouth Committee will convene to evaluate applications to determine eligibility and make grant awards to those proposed projects that are determined to meet the program criteria by remedying substandard commercial building facades, storefronts and improve the overall streetscape in a community. Grant awards will be made on a first come, first serve basis.
The Façade Improvement Program is funded through the Monmouth County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.
Applicants are encouraged to contact the Monmouth County Department of Economic Development at 732-431-7470 to discuss their projects prior to submitting an application.
Thomas A. Arnone is Freeholder Director, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders