/ Sweetwater Takes Steps to Improve Curb Appeal and Beautification

Sweetwater Takes Steps to Improve Curb Appeal and Beautification

 5:33 PM CST March 10, 2021
SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Sweetwater Economic Development has started taking steps towards restoring and beautifying the town of Sweetwater. Miesha Adames, the Marketing and Administrative Director for Sweetwater Economic Development said the city has let itself go as code enforcement slacked and buildings were ignored. She said part of the Sweetwater Economic Development’s job is not only to expand development in primary jobs but also to focus on the quality of life in Sweetwater.
Adames said after they got the idea from another town, the Facade Grant Project was initiated in Sweetwater.  The Facade Grant Project allows business owners to make repairs to the outside of their businesses and get reimbursed half of their expenses up to $15,000. Business owners must apply for the grant by filling out the application and submitting renderings of the proposed improvements. Miesha Adames said these renderings do not need to be professional, applicants can simply take a picture of their building and mark on the paper what they want changed.

Once approved, business owners have 90 days to begin the repairs and 180 days to complete it. These improvements could be replacing windows, painting, adding a sign, redoing the parking lot, or replacing an awning. The grant applies to anything that would increase curb appeal. Internal improvements or structural repairs are not covered under the grant.

The business owners must pay for everything upfront and then submit any invoices or receipts to the Sweetwater Economic Development Board of Directors, who approved the project to begin with. The money from the grant comes from the half-cent sales tax that occurs every time something is locally purchased in Sweetwater. On average, the half-cent sales tax brings in a little over $900,000. Adames said that if a business owner leases the space, they can submit an application, but they must have the approval and signature of the building owner. She also said she hopes as more people begin to fix up their businesses, it will encourage others to do the same.

The other part of Sweetwater’s mission to clean up their town is the demolition of dilapidated buildings. Adames said since they began in 2019, 23 properties have been torn down. She said recently their biggest demolition was the destruction of the Palomino Motel, which had been neglected after a car ran through it and leaks in the ceiling was collapsing the structure.

Adames said 11 Facade Grant Projects have been approved with just a few of them already completed. She said they continue to approve projects indefinitely and do not have a cap on demolitions either. These steps are moving the town of Sweetwater closer to becoming its full and beautiful potential.