Esky businesses get a spruce up

ESCANABA – More than $165,000 was received in federal grants used to spruce up business fronts along Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba, council was informed Thursday.

During a public hearing, council was updated on the 2011-2012 facade program to improve building fronts through grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The program helped fund renovations on seven businesses downtown, explained Blaine DeGrave, the city’s code official.

The facade improvement program has been coordinated through the Downtown Development Authority. Thursday’s public hearing was the final process to close out this round of federally-funded projects, said DeGrave.

Property owners who participated in the program improved their facades at Cat-Man-Do’s, the Morrison Shop, Northern Screen Printing, Record Rack, Supply Sergeant, T&T Hardware and Wishful Thinking.

The $165,854 local program consisted of $124,386 in economic development grants and $41,468 contributed by the property owners, said DeGrave. Individual project costs ranged from $34,349 to $15,584.

Work included brick repair, installation of energy-efficient doors and windows, awning replacements, exterior painting and other outside renovations.