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DRA gives grants to 3 businesses

C.J.’s Grille, the Andalusia Masonic Lodge and Tisdale Properties have been named as the first three recipients of Andalusia’s Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s faade renewal grants.

The grants are available up to $5,000 and are made on a 50-50 matching basis to businesses located in the area represented by the DRA. Their purpose is to give business owners the means to improve the look or “outer faade” of their properties.

“This is hometown money for hometown projects,” said chairman Mike Jones.

The first to receive a grant were the Andalusia Masons, who were awarded $5,000 for a $10,500 project that will restore the building to its original appearance.

“We’re going to pull off that old metal siding, put in new windows and re-do the door,” said Mason Gene Jones. “We’re hoping that all the brick work is intact under there so it will look just like it did when it was built.”

Mike Jones said the Masons’ project was “exactly what we’re looking for.”

John Tisdale of Tisdale Family Properties was the second grant recipient of the evening. Tisdale, who is also a member of the DRA board, abstained from voting.

The $5,000 grant will be met with “no less than $10,000” to continue with faade work on the Prestwood Building. Tisdale plans to canvas the awnings of all four storefronts, complete the balcony trim and window trim and to paint the building.

Work on the two buildings is to be completed no later than Jan. 1, 2010.

“I’m currently in negotia(tions) with two potential tenants, and their use would complement Sugar Rush Bakery and greatly enhance the public’s use of space on the Court Square,” Tisdale said in his application.

Casey Jones of C.J.’s Grille was also awarded $1,000 to purchase a new awning, which will be installed within 90 days.

Approximately $40,000 in a combination of cash and pledged donations will be used to fund these grants, which are available to business owners in the following areas:

Along Church Street from the railroad tracks down to Third Avenue.

Along South Cotton Street from the railroad tracks to Troy Street.

Opp Avenue to the corner of Crescent Street.

Pear Street, Coffee Street, Troy Street.

Applications are still being accepted, Jones said.

For more information or to receive an application packet, contact the city clerk’s office at 222-3313.