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Fox River Grove sets up facade improvement grant program

Money comes from red-light camera violations

FOX RIVER GROVE – In an effort to beautify downtown and spur economic development, the village has finalized details of its facade grant program.

The village budgeted $75,000 for the program, for which money will come out of the Community Enhancement Capital Fund meant for improvements around town, including park improvements and road improvements.

Money from the fund comes from red-light camera violations, Village Administrator Karl Warwick said.

The village will contribute between $1,000 to $50,000 per approved project. Each grant would pay for up to 50 percent of the project cost. The property owner would be reimbursed with the village share after the project is satisfactorily completed, according to the news release.

Eligible businesses include those with exteriors facing a public road or area that has a main entrance to a building.

Interested businesses would need to include renderings or architectural drawings and at least two bids for the purchase of materials and permanent fixtures for the proposed renovation.

Reimbursements could be for work on windows, window trim, exterior doors, awnings, exterior lighting, signs, sign lighting, painting, siding, masonry work, tuck-pointing and shutters.

“The village of Fox River Grove is excited to offer this program, which is funded 100 percent by non-taxpayer dollars, to assist with improving the overall appearance of the village,” Village President Bob Nunamaker said in a news release. “The program is a win-win for both businesses and the village.”

Before village officials finalized details of its facade grant program, they wanted to help a specific business right away. A loan was approved for the New China Restaurant, which is closed while it makes repairs after a fire.

The board approved a $43,000 grant/loan for the restaurant to improve its facade. The village required the restaurant to repay 25 percent of the amount, or $10,750, over a five-year period.

“A lot of communities established facade grant programs to enhance the appearance of the community,” Warwick said. “Enhancing the overall appearance of the community helps people’s property values.”

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