In order to increase interest in re-use of existing buildings and to help recruit new businesses and services in Graham, the Graham Economic Improvement Corporation (GEIC) will provide financial incentives for owners to make exterior improvements to buildings in the Business and Commercial Districts through the Façade Grant Program.
The Façade Grant Program will be providing awards for exterior improvements to buildings within the Business and Commercial districts of the City. Eligible improvements include: store signage, lighting, awnings, windows, building fronts, entries, planters and other expenditures as defined by the Graham Economic Improvement Corporation. The Façade Grant Program is a reimbursement program. All awards shall be retained pending completion and inspection of the project.
Grants are available for 50% reimbursement up to $5,000. Grant amounts will depend upon funding availability.
- All Façade Grant projects shall be for properties within the City of Graham’s Business and Commercial zones as defined and depicted in the City Zoning Map. The basis for awards shall be first come, first served with priority given to those projects that have a significant visual and economic impact or that show dedication to preservation of the historic integrity of the building.
- Grants may not be used for the refinance of existing loans, working capital, or for purchase of inventory or interior projects.
- Grants will be made to a maximum of $5,000.00.
- Applicants must secure their portion of the project cost before the start of the improvements and submit documentation in writing to the Graham Economic Improvement Corporation.
- The grant does not need to be paid back.
- Approved projects shall be underway within 30 days of contract execution and shall be complete within six (6) months of the contract date. An extension may be granted in the event of force majeure.
- All projects shall be done by contractors who meet all licensing requirements and shall comply with all applicable building codes of the City of Graham. Project owners and/or contractors shall acquire all necessary permits.
- Meet with the GEIC to view the proposed project and discuss preliminary plans. Permits for any permanent signage must be secured from the City.
- Submit the following print documents and information to the GEIC for its review:
- Complete plans and specifications. The GEIC reserves the right to require plans and specification to be prepared by an architect for structural improvements.
- Cost estimate.
- Complete application and consent form by property owner and tenant (if applicable).
- Proof of insurance.
- Proof of ownership.
- Current photographs of building’s exterior.
- Property taxes must be current with no history of delinquency.
- Determine eligibility: set up a pre-development meeting, if necessary, to discuss the grant process and project plans with the GEIC Committee or staff, as directed.
- Fill out the application and sign the agreement form. All grant applications must include the following:
• A scaled drawing of eligible work from the owner, project architect or design professional.
• Material specifications and samples – e.g., paint samples, fabric swatches, sign material, etc. – that will enable the GEIC to envision the finished project.
• Itemized work estimates on all project work from contractors or project architects. Self- performed work will be reimbursed for actual material expenses, excluding labor.
• Photographs of the building’s exterior prior to commencement of work. Applicant is required to provide photographs of the building before the reimbursement grant can be made. If the applicant is awarded a grant, photographs of the building during construction and of completed exterior building improvements will also be required.
- Return the completed application, with applicable forms, and direct any questions related to:
Graham Economic Improvement Corporation
608 Elm Street
Graham, TX 76450
- The application will then undergo an approval process that includes, but is not limited to:
- Projects will be reviewed to ensure they meet all current building standards and codes, as well as building permit requirements.
- The GEIC Review Committee will only consider applications that have been properly and fully completed and which contain all information requested in the application.
- All construction information submitted must be current and dated no earlier than thirty (30) days prior to the application. Bids must be submitted on the contractor’s or project architect’s letterhead and must contain the contractor’s name, address, and telephone number. Bids must be itemized to allow GEIC to determine bid components and authenticity.
- Applications receiving approval by the GEIC shall commence construction within thirty (30) days from the date the grant is approved. Applicants must complete the improvements described in the application within six (6) months from the date the grant is approved. If the Applicant cannot meet these timelines, Applicant may submit a written request for an extension of the commencement or completion date, provided the extension request is made within applicable time limit. GEIC shall not be obligated to grant an extension, but may do so for good cause determined solely by GEIC. The extension, if granted, shall be for the term and for the conditions determined exclusively by GEIC. An extension denial cannot be appealed and shall be final.
- Any grant awarded will not be used for construction on any building that is not in compliance with the City of Graham Code of Ordinances.
- No applicant has a proprietary right to receive grant funds. GEIC shall consider any application within its discretionary authority to determine what grant amount would be in the best interest of the Program, the GEIC and the City of Graham.
- The GEIC has final discretion with regard to funding and reserves the right to recommend modifications or reject any project or elements of any project.
- A property must remain under the ownership of the applicant until completion of the project. If the property owner/applicant sells the property after the approval of grant funds, the grant application will be revoked. The new owner will be eligible to submit a new grant application under the rules of the Program after completion of purchase.
- If a grant is awarded, the entire grant project must be satisfactorily completed before the reimbursement of any funds. Upon completion the Applicant shall present the GEIC with the following:
a. Copies of all paid invoices, including copies of cancelled checks and/or credit card receipts.
b. Photographs of construction process and of all completed work.
c. A signed statement from the City Building Code Officer of the City of Graham stating that the work completed is in compliance with all City codes and ordinances.
d. Proof of release of lien from all contractors and/or subcontractors involved.
- When a completed project reimbursement has been reviewed and approved by GEIC or its authorized representative, reimbursement should be issued by a single reimbursement check, typically within 45 days.
Disbursement of Funds
To receive reimbursement for eligible project costs as defined by the grant award:
- Notify the GEIC upon completion of the project.
- Submit request for reimbursement with documentation of eligible costs paid by the applicant.
- Submit photograph(s) of completed project.
- Work will be inspected by the GEIC and City Building Code Officer.