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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Main Street Hardy receives grants

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Photo/Baker The awnings covering the sidewalks that line Main Street Hardy are not original to the buildings. Memory Lane is receiving an over $4,000 grant to accomplish tearing down the awnings erected in the 1970s. The original buildings were built in the 1920s including Memory Lane which was originally a Ford dealership.
Main Street Hardy has been awarded over $12,800 to help with the restoring and maintaining of Hardy's Main Street buildings.

Much of Hardy's vitality seems to be based on the existence of Hardy's tourism and historic richness, both of which are centered around Hardy's Main Street economy.

Dale Maddox is on the Main Street Hardy board and said that it is hard to summarize what an important role the organization plays for the local community.

"We're one of 15 Main Streets throughout Arkansas. It's a preservation program of architecture with an economic component," Maddox said.

Recently, the Department of Arkansas Heritage awarded a $8,500 Downtown Revitalization Grant and a $4,363 "Slipcover" Removal Grant to be used for mini-grants and ultimately downtown improvements. The over $4,000 is specifically allotted for the restoring of the facade of the building at 118 East Main Street, but still over $8,000 is left to be distributed, according to a press release from the DAH.

Although, Executive Director of Main Street Hardy Kim Wilson explained, it is still not certain what the money will be specifically used for, a general idea of where the funds are needed is guiding their decisions.

The grant will be split up into mini-grants that will go towards a variety of things according to Maddox.

"For instance, we have been talking about a 50/50 program up to a certain amount of money," Maddox explained.

A 50/50 program would mean merchants would have a chance to match grants awarded to them by Main Street Hardy in order to accomplish endeavors such as renovating the outside of their businesses and putting up signs.

Ron Martin who owns Memory Lane, the building receiving the over $4,000 grant, said because the grant is a matching grant, Main Street Hardy will be assisting in the renewal of the outside of the building at a time when help is needed.

"With economic times the way they are, (the grant) is a big help. The awning we will be replacing has been there since the early 70s and is beginning to rot," Martin listed as one example of renovations he has in mind.

"Items such as signs and awnings have a limited lifespan and need replacement after time," Cary Tyson of DAH explained.

In order to be awarded a mini-grant, merchants must go through an application process where a budget and intentions must be clearly set forth by the business owners, Maddox said.

"We applied for the grants because we had several merchants needing to do small projects like painting and fixing screens. When we wrote the grants we had those kind of things in mind," Wilson said.

Further Main Street Hardy Board deliberation will be done in upcoming months to determine how the grants will be distributed, according to Maddox and Wilson.

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