Two Downtown Wentzville Businesses Awarded Grants; City Looks to Extend Deadline

1 East Allen Stree

Wentzville’s Downtown Committee approved two façade improvement grant requests at their meeting in May.

The façade improvement program, which was approved by the board of aldermen earlier this year, allows property owners in the city’s Village Center to apply for a grant of up to 50 percent of the cost of a project for the renovation or restoration of a downtown business. Grants are not to exceed $10,000.

$10,000 grants were approved for:

6 East Main Street

  • 6 East Main Street (Pope Photography) will be adding energy-efficient windows and redoing the front of the building to better reflect the building’s history. The owner will also be adding a front awning.

1 East Allen Stree

  • 1 East Allen Street (Old Friends Guitars) will be removing the old paint and taking the building back to its original unpainted brick exterior.

Total private investment for both these projects was estimated at $35,000.

Two other businesses submitted applications, but did not make the April 30 deadline. With $20,000 remaining of the $40,000 budgeted for this program in 2016, the Downtown Committee asked the board of aldermen to consider an extension of the deadline.

At last week’s board meeting, Alderman Matt Swanson said that he thought the original 30-day window for applications seemed reasonable, but he understood that there were problems with getting the word out to businesses. Also, businesses did not have sufficient time to get the three required bids. “I’m open to extending it just this one time,” he said. “Businesses will know next year.”

The general consensus of the board was to bring the extension back for an official vote. The 90-day extension would go into effect upon that approval.

“The Downtown Committee is passionate about revitalizing downtown,” said Alderman Michael Rhoades, one of the board representatives on the committee. “It has a rich history and we’re proud of it. We want to have the most impact we can.”