A dog grooming business is the first ever recipient of public grant funding to make historic parts of Nixa more appealing to passersby.
The Nixa City Council voted 5-0 to award a $3,363.55 facade improvement grant to Doggie Styles Grooming, a business located on South Street. Owner Charlene Smith will receive half of the funding needed to complete a $6,727.09 building improvement project.
“It’s a 1:1 matching program, so she’s going to be eligible to receive 50 percent of the cost of the total project,” Nixa Director of Planning and Development Travis Cossey said.
On her application, Smith said that the money will be used to install siding over existing concrete walls and cover a glass door on the north side of the building. On her grant application, Smith pledged to do her best to work with Nixa businesses to conduct the work.
Smith sought three different bids for the exterior work, obtaining a low bd from a Nixa construction company.
“Mrs. Smith did submit the application complete with all of the submittal requirements,” Cossey said. “She provided a complete application on the first go-around. We did not have to work with her to make a completed application, so she did a great job following all of the instructions.”
The Nixa City Council established the facade improvement grant program with a vote July 22, 2019. It committed $15,000 for improvement projects.
The facade improvement grant program is subject to annual review and budgetary restrictions by the Nixa City Council. Each year, council members have discretion on how much money to offer up for building improvement grants. Eligible Nixa business owners may apply for up to $7,500 in funding from the city for projects that beautify the facades of their buildings.
Businesses in a downtown area defined on an official map are eligible, as are buildings in other parts of Nixa that were constructed prior to Jan. 23, 1975.
Cossey was able to find an aerial photograph of Nixa taken from a plane in 1975, establishing a 44-year reference of Nixa’s commercial development. Cossey and his staff identified some properties outside of the downtown district around Highway 14 and Main Street that had structures on them in 1975.
Mayor Brian Steele pointed out that the Doggie Styles building was one added to the downtown district through Cossey’s research and a final vote by the city council in the late summer of 2019.
“This is one of the buildings that we added. It wasn’t considered a downtown, it’s just considered an older building,” Steele said.
“Right,” Cossey said. “She is within the secondary ring of those buildings that were developed or constructed Jan. 23, 1975, or older.”
$11,636.45 remains in Nixa’s 2019 budget cycle for the facade grant program.