The Governing Body of the City of Andover approved unanimously to grant awards to the following Andover Road businesses on Tuesday, April 24 at their regular city council meeting:

• Andover Group Investments - $5,000 to remove paving and wire fencing and install new fencing;

• Design Source Interiors - $1,100 to add more landscaping;

• The Plaza - $5,000 for exterior painting.

2018 marks the second year for the Andover Road Business Improvement Grant Program. In 2017, Andover Group Investments submitted the only application and received $5,000 to put toward replacing their digital sign.

“The application process was super simple,” said business owner Stacey Howell. “The fact that the City was willing to give us $5,000 for doing something that helped market our company is one of the many reasons we are proud to be in Andover.”

The goal of the program is to support Andover Road businesses through funding for exterior building repairs or façade improvements, to replace legally non-conforming signs, to increase landscaping specifically in areas adjacent to sidewalks, to make ADA compliance improvements, or any improvements to the exterior of the business that makes the environment more pleasant for non-motorists.

Annually, grant applications are accepted during the month of March and reviewed by a selection committee in April. This year the selection committee included: City

Administrator Mark Detter; Andover Chamber of Commerce member Stephanie Skaggs;

Andover Chamber of Commerce member Kathy Walter; City Council Member Greg Schneider and City Council Member Mike Warrington.

The motivation for the program came from the City’s Comprehensive Plan which was last updated in 2014. That report indicated that Andover Road was not the “front door” that represented “the living room behind it.” $15,000 has been budgeted each of the last two years for this program. The grant program allows applicants to be reimbursed up to one half (50%) of approved costs, with the City’s share not to exceed $5,000 per project annually.