City of Monessen Awarded $50,000 for Downtown Businesses

Matt Shorraw
3 min readAug 5, 2021

The City of Monessen has been awarded a grant of $50,000 for a downtown façade improvement program.

MONESSEN — The City has been awarded the Keystone Communities Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The $50,000 will fund a façade improvement program, which will be administered by the City of Monessen.

The City will accept applications for a grant program to improve the facades of businesses in the city’s Downtown District, encompassing Donner and Schoonmaker Avenues, from Parente Boulevard to 12th Street, including all side-streets. Applicants will be able to apply through the City of Monessen beginning on August 11, 2021.

The purpose of the program will be to help property owners and business owners improve and renovate their storefronts in Downtown Monessen. The program will demonstrate the importance of the storefront and its critical role in attracting customers and visitors, and enhancing the physical appearance of the Downtown District.

The program will grant up to $5,000 per property for façade improvements for those properties in Downtown Monessen that qualify. To qualify for consideration, the property must be a commercial structure in Downtown Monessen, in need of repairs or improvement. The project must result in the visible improvement of the overall façade. Applicants are responsible for committing to providing a 50% cash match for the project.

Downtown Monessen Business Façade Improvement Grant Program will aim to promote the preservation and improvement of commercial building facades in Downtown Monessen. The goals of this grant program shall be to:

· Preserve and improve occupied commercial structures in Downtown Monessen.

· Generate tangible economic benefits, by attracting more residents and visitors to Downtown, and increasing sales of local businesses.

· Demonstrate the power of coordinated, small-scale façade improvements on local economies.

· Support the attraction of private investment in downtown by reinvigorating its image as the central location for business.

Applications will only be approved for property owners who are current on all applicable payments, including but not limited to property taxes (City, County, and School), mercantile taxes, and garbage payments. The structure must be a commercial structure located in Downtown Monessen. All façade improvements must comply with the City of Monessen’s property maintenance and building codes. All applicable permits are required. Any work that commences prior to the awarding of the grant will not be eligible.

“I am very thankful to DCED for awarding us this grant to help improve the overall appearance of Downtown Monessen. This will help existing local business and property owners and will hopefully help to attract new development and improvements as well.” Said Mayor Matt Shorraw.

The Wolf administration recently announced the approval of $5 million in funding for the Keystone Communities Program, which supports building restoration projects in Pennsylvania communities.

The grant will fund 41 revitalization projects in 21 counties with a focus on blight reduction, building renovations, mixed-use facility and accessible housing construction, downtown and storefront enhancements, and playground construction.

“The Keystone Communities Program helps Pennsylvania’s towns and cities enhance their quality of life to the benefit of residents, visitors, and businesses alike,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “The program is flexible enough to serve the needs of any municipality — whether they’re aiming to improve their downtown, rehabilitate buildings, or create new housing or community gathering spaces.”

The project in Monessen will have a fast turnaround time, so projects can begin before winter 2021. The deadline for applicants will be September 14, 2021.

Downtown Monessen (Donner Ave.) Summer 2021.

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Matt Shorraw

29. BS, Music Tech; Attending Harvard Univ. Mayor, City of Monessen PA. Community Organizer. Proud Alpha Chi Rho Brother. Love data, policy, and urban affairs.