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Harrison Township Downtown Improvement Program and Grant Application

Program Parameters, April 2024

Click Here for a Grant Application 


The Harrison Township Downtown Development Authority Board was established in 2015 with the goal of creating a vibrant waterfront district for the community. This program will provide technical and financial support to property and business owners seeking to renovate and improve the outward appearance of their building.

DDA Funding Commitment

  • Proposed FY 2024-2025 budget allocation of $20,000
  • All grants are reimbursement style. Reimbursement payments will be made to the applicant upon completion of the grant project.
  • The program provides 50% matching grant funds for qualified activities. The applicant must spend at least $1 for each $1 dollar awarded. In-kind activities are not eligible for match.
  • A minimum of $500 grant request (with at least $500 matched investment) is required.
  • A maximum of $10,000 grant request (with at least $10,000 matched investment) is required.


Eligible Applicants

  • Commercial property owners or building tenants, with a lease of more than one year in length, of commercial property within the DDA. If lease, written permission from the property owner is required.
  • All existing commercial or mixed-use buildings are eligible. Residential buildings, private club buildings, and governmental/tax-exempt buildings are not eligible.


General Eligibility Requirements

  • The building must front a street, alley, parking lot, or other public space
  • All grant-funded improvements must be permanent and fixed in type or nature
  • All improvements must meet township and State code requirements, including zoning, building, and public safety codes
  • All improvements must meet V1-A zoning district guidelines
  • The applicant/contractor must obtain all necessary building permits and pay all accompanying fees
  • All grant-funded improvements must comply with the approved grant applications. Non-compliance with approved plans will result in grant disqualification.


Eligible Grant Activities shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Façade rehabilitation, including demolition of inappropriate façade “slipcovers”
  • Storefront system rehabilitation or repair
  • Door and window repair and replacement
  • Exterior painting (to eliminate inappropriate color or scheme only)
  • Awnings
  • Building lighting
  • Hardscape services
  • Roofing updates (architectural element or visible from the street only)
  • Addition of Green Infrastructure to absorb stormwater runoff
  • Permanent outdoor seating areas


Ineligible Grant Activities

  • Signage
  • Any temporary or non-permanent improvement
  • Maintenance, such as foundations or roofing
  • Billboards
  • Security systems, security bars, or razor/barbed wire
  • Fencing (non-decorative)
  • Residential property
  • Anything done on the interior


DDA Grant Application Evaluation Criteria shall be based on the following:

  1. Available grant funds.
  2. Overall merits of the proposed project.
  3. The support the project provides to the general beautification of downtown Harrison Township.
  4. Appropriateness related to the original façade of the building.
  5. Significant improvement of the visual appearance of the building and surrounding area.
  6. The level of investment being made in the property.
  7. If applicable, collective participation of adjacent property owners.
  8. Additional consideration will be given to applicants who elect to improve both the front and rear façades, or the comprehensiveness of the proposed project.
  9. The DDA will not consider any applications for work already completed.


Procedural Steps/Schedule

  • Advertisement of Program – Spring 2024
  • Application Deadline – Open throughout the year
  • DDA Subcommittee Review – As applications are submitted they will be reviewed
  • Grant Award(s) by DDA – Within 60 Days of submission


Submission Requirements

  • Grant application form
  • Proof of property ownership or leasehold interest
  • Written permission from property owner if leased
  • Detailed written summary of proposed improvements
  • Full set of before photos for the proposed project
  • Drawings or detailed descriptions of the proposed building improvements
  • Sample, description, or photo of proposed materials, including brick, stone, windows, and color swatches
  • A detailed cost estimate for all eligible project costs (quotes from at least three licensed contractors or suppliers will be required if the grant is awarded)


Grant Approval Process

  • Applications are received and reviewed by the DDA board
  • The DDA board may request additional information from applicants for further review or may propose amendments to the grant application
  • When the grant is awarded by the DDA Board, the approval will be tied to the scope of work, project costs, materials, and plans identified in the application package
  • Any changes to the approved application package must be approved in writing by the DDA Board prior to any construction


Grant Reimbursement Process

  • The approved grant work must be completed within one year of approval by the DDA Board. Construction must start within 60 days of receiving the award
  • Upon completion of the grant project, and prior to disbursement of funds, the applicant must schedule an on-site inspection with the township Building Inspector and DDA Representative to verify the project has been completed in accordance with the approved application package.
  • Prior to the disbursement of grant funds, the applicant shall submit:
    • Verification that all building, safety, and zoning inspections have been conducted and approved
    • A written reimbursement request certifying that work has been completed in accordance with the approved application package and that expenses have been incurred
    • A signed affidavit verifying that all payments to contractors, laborers, and suppliers have been made
    • Copy of invoices along with signed waivers of lien by all contractors, laborers, and suppliers
    • Display plaque provided by DDA indicating “financing provided in part by the Harrison Township DDA downtown improvement program.”


Upon confirmation of the above documentation, as well as confirmation of non-delinquent status for all township accounts, including taxes, water bills, special assessments etc, the DDA will pay the grantee the approved grant award amount within 45 days from the date of the final verification, however, the grant reimbursement amount shall be the lesser of $5,000 or 50% of the total project cost.

Application can be found at

**The DDA board reserves the right to amend any parameters in the program at any time throughout the process**