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Funds available for downtown facade improvements

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Commercial spaces and those with mixed business and residential purposes within a nine-block radius of downtown Chambersburg are eligible for funding to give them a face-lift.



CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Commercial spaces and those with mixed business and residential purposes within a nine-block radius of downtown Chambersburg are eligible for funding to give them a face-lift.


In December 2019, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Downtown Chambersburg Inc. would receive money from a facade grant program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Recipients of the funds originally had to be in a 3½-block area on Main Street between Falling Spring Creek and Washington Street, but the reach has been extended.


“This new batch of funding is for a larger geographic area,” said DCI President Sam Thrush.


The span now includes parts of Queen, King and 2nd streets, as well as Lincoln Way. Residential buildings are not eligible.


A total of $50,000 is available for distribution, Thrush said.


Since 2020, more than $40,000 has been awarded for exterior improvements and signs, Thrush said. At least 10 properties have benefited from the monetary awards, which spurred at least $70,000 in downtown face-lifts.


Past recipients include MJ Squared, Beam Graphix Custom Print Co., The Capitol Theatre and Bistro 71, as well as the buildings housing Black & Blush Boutique and Merle Norman Cosmetics, plus the one at 19 S. Main St., Thrush said. Other beneficiaries include Council for the Arts, Ludwig’s Jewelers and Here’s Looking at You.


A total of $8,100 is still available from the first round of funding.


“We’re trying to find projects for that right now,” Thrush said.


​As part of the guidelines, applicants must acquire at least two quotes and, if they are dividing a project into specific aspects (such as wood restoration and painting), at least two quotes are needed for each. Those seeking funds also must file a land-use permit application with the Borough of Chambersburg.


DCI has a five-year contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, but the cycle for the facade grants is one year. Recipients, who are chosen by a committee, have a few months after receiving their funds to get their projects completed.


Applications must be received by mid-February 2022.


For more information about the grants, go to downtownchambersburgpa.com/facade or email dci@chambersburg.org.

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