Downtown Morenci grants 6.24.09

Written by David Green.

Several downtown businesses showing improvements in their storefronts are getting a financial boost through the Morenci Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

DDA officer Tim Decker told city council members Monday that the $2,000 set aside for the project has all been allocated.

Businesses were invited to apply for grants of up to $250 to pay for materials for façade improvements.

“Our goal was to provide $2,000,” Decker said, “and we accomplished what we wanted to do.”

Decker told council members the DDA board also voted to provide $500 should the city choose to improve the drive along the north side of Johnson Hardware and behind the Pizza Box.

There’s a standing water issue that needs to be addressed, Decker said, and city supervisor Barney Vanderpool is examining the problem.

Decker explained that the DDA captures increases in taxable value of all property located within the DDA zone. The city and council continues to receive the base tax money that was in place when the DDA zone was established; only increases go to the DDA.

Decker said it will take several decades for the DDA fund to grow large enough to tackle a major project, but the group would like to continue aiding city projects.

Chamber sidebar

The Morenci DDA isn’t the only group offering cash to help out businesses. The Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce has its own grant program.

Members voted to create a pool of $1,000 to help Chamber member businesses enhance the appearance of buildings. Grants up to $250 are available for any eligible project for reimbursement of materials. The funds are not to be used for labor.

The deadline to apply for a grant is July 7 and applications will be considered at the chamber’s July 9 meeting at noon at the Pizza Box. Projects must be completed by Sept. 1.

 Application forms for Chamber members are available from Renée Schroeder at City Hall.

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