Rushville Republican

May 21, 2013

“Smile Fund” accepting applications

Melissa Conrad
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Several organizations are working together to continue to give the Rushville community something to smile about.

The Heart of Rushville Downtown Smile Fund is currently accepting applications for projects.

The Heart of Rushville administers the Smile Fund in conjunction with Partners for Progress and the Rushville Historic Board. The purpose of this program is to aid the beautification of Rushville, as well as aid building owners and community members/groups looking to complete projects beneficial to the community.

Although there is an emphasis towards Rushville’s downtown historic business district, these funds are not limited to the downtown area.

The Partners for Progress beautification committee has handed out 19 Smile Fund packets during face to face visits at various store building locations and mailed 10 packets to building owners to help spread the word about this program, organizers said.

Applications may be turned in at the Chamber of Commerce, 315 N. Main Street. Any questions can be directed there as well.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Smile Fund may still do so by sending a check payable to Heart of Rushville Smile Fund, PO Box 261, Rushville, IN 46173.

Last year, two businesses were awarded grants from the Smile Fund: the Payne Agency for painting their building and Kaleidoscope Treasures for an awning.

In addition, Smile Fund organizers are recognizing the efforts of several businesses that have done work that helps encourage investment without requesting funds, according to Brian Sheehan. They are Hoeing Supply, El Reparo, Davis Auto Parts, Campbell Brothers and House of Ink.

The Smile Fund program goals are:

l To improve the overall quality of facades in order to attract more local residents and visitors to shop, eat, and do business in our historic downtown.

l To encourage and support the restoration of historic building facades.

l To encourage and provide incentive for property/business owners to reinvest in our historic downtown.

Interested applicants may request a grant from the Heart of Rushville Downtown SMILE Fund for 33 percent of a total project with a grant cap of $1,000. Grants will not be granted retroactively. All projects must be approved before any work begins. If the business owner is not the owner of the building, they must get the property owner’s written approval for any project.

All completed applications must be submitted to The Heart of Rushville, 315 North Main Street. All questions should be directed to 765-932-2880.

Heart of Rushville is a non-profit dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Main Street and the Rushville historic district.

The Partners for Progress “Beautification Group” is a small group of volunteers who assist business and property owners through the Façade Grant Application process. This group offer connections to both contractors, funding and volunteer labor to complete projects. Their primary focus is to improve the visual experience on the corridors of State Roads 3 and 44 and U.S. 52.

The Rush County Chamber of Commerce is organized for the purpose of advancing the economic, industrial, agricultural, professional, cultural, and civic welfare of Rush County. Their goal is to be a unified voice for local business and organizations.

Melissa Conrad, 765-932-2222 ext. 107