Selah Downtown Association (SDA) launched the Business Façade Improvement Grant Program in 2017. Through this program, SDA offers to downtown building and business owners the opportunity to apply for matching grant funding to help offset the overall cost of permanent façade improvements. The grant program additionally helps SDA fortify relationships with downtown property owners and establish long-lasting partnerships with those seeking to improve the community's historic downtown district.
SDA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and member of the Washington State Main Street Program. SDA's mission is to develop and promote downtown Selah as the community's social, cultural and economic center. The Business Façade Improvement Grant Program is administered by the SDA Design Committee in order to enhance the appearance of downtown Selah through design improvements and beautification.
1. Who is eligible to apply?
a. The Business Façade Improvement Grant Program (hereinafter "grant program") is open to commercial building owners and business owners (hereinafter "applicants") located along the "First Street Corridor," between Southern Avenue and Bartlett Avenue, extending west to 3rd Street and east to Railroad Avenue. (Please reference grant program area map.)
b. If a property is leased or currently under contract, all parties included on the lease or contract must agree in writing to the proposed project.
c. Applicants with multiple properties or storefronts may apply for matching funds to improve each property.
d. Grant funding will not be awarded to the same building or business in consecutive years. An applicant must wait at least one year after receiving grant funding before submitting a new application for improvements to the same property. Example: If a building is awarded funding in 2017, the applicant cannot receive additional funding through the grant program until 2019.
2. What type of projects are eligible to receive grant funding?
a. Only "new" projects or projects still in the planning phase will be considered eligible for funding. Projects currently underway will not be considered eligible.
b. Under the grant program, "building improvement" includes exterior rehabilitation, restoration and/or maintenance of an existing building, as well as new additions.
c. Eligible projects may include façade design improvements, exterior painting, brick maintenance, external lighting and signage improvements, weatherization upgrades, and the purchase and/or replacement of awnings visible from the public right-of-way. Other projects will be evaluated and considered on an individual basis.
d. Eligible projects must be visible from the public right-of-way. Improvements to building interiors, roofs and/or facades not visible from the public right-of-way are not considered eligible.
e. Eligible projects that include restoration of historic buildings or features of buildings will be given preferential consideration.
Grant Funds Available
1. The total amount of funding available through the grant program will be determined on an annual basis by SDA and may fluctuate from year to year. Funding may be divided among several applicants.
2. Applicants may receive funding through the grant program up to 50% (matching) of approved improvement costs to an amount awarded not to exceed $10,000.
1. The applicant has 90 days from the date of acceptance of the grant award to commence work on the project.
2. The applicant must agree to complete the approved project in a timely manner and keep SDA updated on the project status and expected date of completion.
a. Approved projects must be completed within 180 days from the date of acceptance of the grant award.
1) If the expected completion date of the project will exceed 180 days, the applicant must notify SDA in writing and submit a request for a time extension on the project.
2) A request for a project extension must include an updated schedule for completion.
b. SDA may, at any time, choose to withdraw the award of grant funding previously approved should it determine that the applicant has failed to move forward with the project in a timely manner. In this exceptional case, the applicant would forfeit any right to reimbursement for project expenses.
3. Any changes in the design of the project without written approval from SDA renders the award of grant funding void. In such case, the applicant would forfeit any right to reimbursement for project expenses and bear the full cost of the project.
4. All construction materials, design features and other items or products associated with the project must be delivered to the project site, i.e. the physical location of the building or business receiving grant funding, in downtown Selah.
Application Period & Schedule
1. The grant program application deadline is Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Complete applications may be mailed or delivered to: Selah Downtown Association, 115 W. Naches Ave., Selah, WA 98942. Applications will be reviewed by the SDA Design Committee and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by March 21, 2018.
2. Application process:
a. Applicants are encouraged to contact SDA to discuss project details, as well as the City Planner and City of Selah Public Works Department, before submitting a grant application. Applicants should also determine early in the planning phase any applications and/or permits needed for the project.
b. Completed grant applications packets may be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to 115 W. Naches Ave., Selah, WA 98942. All applications must be received by February 28, 2018.
c. The SDA Design Committee will review completed applications and may request that applicants present their projects in-person. The committee may propose changes or alterations to the plan and request that the applicant submit a revised application for review.
d. The SDA Design Committee will make a final decision on the number of grants and amount of funding awarded to selected projects. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application no later than March 21, 2018.
e. Successful applicants must sign a notarized final Program Agreement Form that includes the amount of funding awarded, any addendums to the original grant application, and other requirements and/or conditions associated with the project.
f. Applicants are required to obtain all necessary approvals, permits and/or letters of exemption from the City of Selah prior to commencing work on the project. Failure to obtain the necessary permits and approvals renders the award of grant funding void. In such case, the applicant would forfeit any right to reimbursement for project expenses and bear the full cost of the project.
g. Within 30 days of completion, applicants must submit photographs of the project, including "before" and "after" photographs, as well as photographs documenting the project at various stages of work. Photographs may be submitted by email to email@example.com.
h. Within 30 days of completion, applicants must submit copies of all receipts associated with the project confirming payment of project expenses. The SDA Design Committee will review the receipts and make a recommendation for payment of the approved amount of funding to the SDA board of directors.
i. Upon approval by the SDA board of directors, a reimbursement check will be presented to the applicant equal to 50% of the approved project expenses up to the amount of grant funding awarded, but not in excess of $10,000. The re- imbursement check will be addressed to the applicant(s) named on the grant application form and will be presented in person.
j. SDA, by and through the Design Committee, is responsible for administering the grant program. SDA is solely responsible for overseeing the review of all applications, awarding grants, and authorizing the final disbursement of funding to selected applicants assuming their compliance with the rules and regulations stated herein.
1. The complete application package submitted for consideration must include the following forms and documents:
a. Completed Business Façade Improvement Grant Program application form;
b. Business Façade Improvement Grant Program "Agreement" bearing the signatures of all building owners and any current business tenants with a designated storefront.
c. Architectural rendering(s) of the proposed project, including a list of material types and/or other features that will be utilized.
d. "Before" photographs of the building or business.
e. Any "design boards," paint chips or other material samples that will be utilized.
f. Contractor Bid estimates and any invoices for design renderings.
g. Financial statements confirming the source of the matching funding.
h. Background information on the building or business storefront, including but not limited to the following information:
1) Official description of the building parcel according to the Yakima County Assessor's Office;
2) Building age and a timeline of prior use(s) complete to the best of the applicant's knowledge;
3) Current use(s) and proposed use(s);
4) Historical photographs of the building if available.