Additional Polk beautification grant funds available for 2017

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 17, 2017

The Polk County Appearance Commission is pleased again to announce the availability of matching grant funds of up to $1,000 for public beautification projects. Last year, eight projects were carefully selected and funded throughout the county and the results were very positive with enhancements in Saluda, Columbus, and Tryon. Our goal is to award grants in diverse locations throughout the entire geographic area of Polk County for the benefit of all residents and visitors.

The criteria for these projects are as follows:

• Property used by and for the public: property and businesses that are open to the public.

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• Street Appearance

• Public Enhancement

• Tasteful landscaping such as trees, shrubs, and flowers

• Structural improvements: including exterior renovations to a building that are visible from the street or sidewalks. Signage, awnings, planters, water features, and similar elements are also eligible. (Enhancements may or may not be funded for privately owned structures. These will be reviewed on a case by case basis and a decision will be made at the discretion of the Appearance Commission.) Public spaces i.e. parks, streetscapes, city entryways, etc. will hold priority over private businesses.

• Well maintained properties

• “In Kind” work may be used for matching funds as well.

Examples of previous beautification and enhancements that have received matching grants from the Appearance Commission are below:

• Artistic recycle bins on the sidewalks of Saluda.

• Maple tree in the fountain planter bed of St. Luke’s Plaza in Tryon.

• Landscaping and maintenance in front of the county courthouse in Columbus.

• Landscaping around the Doughboy statue in Columbus.

The deadline for grant applications is Feb. 28. Notification of awarded funds is on or before March 1.

Monies must be spent and receipts submitted no later than May 31, 2017. Please email for a pdf file of the grant application form or if you would need one mailed to you.

All work performed must be in compliance with existing city, state or county codes, utility safety procedures, taxes, etc.

We look forward to your entries and help with our vision for a beautiful Polk County.

Please look for updates on our website soon for the Dark Sky lighting project for information regarding proper noninvasive down lighting practices.

There is one opening for the Appearance Commission if anyone would like to help with our endeavor to keep Polk County clean, beautiful, and inviting.

David Friday, Appearance Matters