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City tweaks criteria for facade grants

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More businesses can benefit from program

By Jesef Williams

 

More businesses will be able to take advantage of a city program that allows for storefront enhancements.

At its July 9 meeting, Lancaster City Council voted unanimously to adjust the guidelines for its facade grant program.

For the last few years, businesses have been able to apply for the funding, which goes toward improvements such as brickwork cleaning, repainting, repair or replacement of windows and doors, installation of canvas awnings and structural repair. 

The intent of the facade grant program is to help the downtown business district look more attractive and inviting. An entity can receive up to $2,000 for its project.

Eligibility has always  been restricted to any business in the district, which was defined as Woodland Drive to Brooklyn Avenue and Catawba to White streets.

Teresa Meeks, the city’s support services director, said the inclusion area is now Woodland Drive to South Avenue and Catawba to Market streets.

“Our design committee has discussed this issue at several of our meetings,” Meeks said. “And now with the completion of the newest portion of Streetscape, we feel the expansion of our target area would help to continue to beautify the South Main Street area.”

City Councilman John Howard, like other council members, spoke favorably of the expansion.

“Main Street will never be what it once was, but slowly but surely we’re coming back in a different form and fashion,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing.”

Towing ordinance

Also at the July 9 meeting, City Council voted unanimously on final reading of an ordinance to raise the amount of money towing companies can charge when responding to a Lancaster Police Department call.

This is when towing is needed as a result of traffic or other violations, abandonment or impoundment, among other reasons.

The fee to tow a non-wrecked vehicle during normal business hours increased from $50 to $75. 

The fee increased from $85 to $110 if towing is required during non-business hours or holidays.

The change doesn’t pertain to vehicles involved in collisions. The city doesn’t have set fees for towing in such instances.

 

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152