Much like a program already in place in Galesburg, Monmouth has recently started a matching grant program with a goal of improving buildings in their downtown area.
As many of Monmouth’s buildings have a unique and storied history, some could use a facelift.
Director of Community and Economic Development Paul Schuytema says the program was launched to give businesses on the city’s square the chance to do just that.
The city offers a 50 percent matching grant up to $7,500 to renovate facades and bring them back to reflect more of the buildings’ historic past.
Schuytema tells WGIL the city, a partner construction company and a special committee work with business owners to get to work.
“On the city’s nickel we pay Tim from Artisan Construction to meet with the owner and kind of research the history of the building and go ok, here’s some of the things you could do to restore the windows back. A lot of these downtown windows on the second floor, they shrink em down and stuff. We’re trying to get those back, get the facades back, the false fronts off,” Schuytema says. “He kind of puts together a proposal and then if the owner’s game and the city council approves it, they go ahead and do the work.”
Schuytema says the program is a way to incentivize building owners to keep mature buildings looking great.