by Sarah Einselen
A downtown Logansport façade improvement program the city will consider funding has allocated all but its last $1,468, according to the program’s director.
Logan’s Landing director Becki Harris said the organization’s façade funding program, which has paid for more than $52,000 of about $198,000 worth of downtown façade improvements since 2009, has approved matching funds for two projects since coming before the Logansport city council’s economic development committee to request renewed funding of the program.
Harris spoke to the committee earlier this month to request $20,000 for the façade program. The city council will consider its committee’s recommendation to fund the program at its Jan. 7 meeting.
Scott Jones, owner of a building at 223 S. Sixth St., was approved for up to $2,440 in matching funds for a project to upgrade the doors and windows at the site. A business at 420 High St., Hair to Dye For, was also approved to receive up to $520 once installation of a new awning is complete.
The façade program allows property owners in downtown Logansport to apply for up to $5,000 to cover costs of improving the outside front of a business. A Logan’s Landing committee reviews and approves each application and every property owner has to match Logan’s Landing funds dollar-for-dollar.
“There are very specific activities that they can use this funding for,” said Harris, and not every project that’s proposed gets approved for funding. “It’s not an entitlement program.”
Logan’s Landing leaders understand the need to justify the expense of funding the program, Harris said, especially in tight economic times, but she said the private investment that the program encouraged was well worth the cost.
Since the project’s inception in 2007, it’s paid out almost $81,000 on projects whose total cost amounted to $285,767. That’s a 2.5-to-1 ratio of private versus public investment, Harris said.
Harris anticipates that the committee’s recommendation will go through when the full city council votes on the proposal.
The four council members on the committee “all felt that yes, this was something that they wanted to fund,” Harris said.
Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.