Interest in Grove City's town center matching grant program has increased since the city raised the maximum amount available from $1,000 to $10,000 in March.

Interest in Grove City's town center matching grant program has increased since the city raised the maximum amount available from $1,000 to $10,000 in March.

Grove City development director Chuck Boso said the $1,000 limit had been in effect since the program began 10 years ago.

"Anymore what can you do with 1,000 bucks?" Boso said.

He said since March, the development department has received nine applications from property owners wanting to take advantage of the revamped grant program. Three have been approved. The other six were pending approval last week.

According to city information, the three projects totaled more than $43,000 in exterior building improvements at town center properties. The city has awarded about $20,000 in matching grants for those projects.

The biggest project, with a cost of more than $22,000, is being undertaken by Sound Communications Inc., as the company renovates its new location at 3474 Park St. The grant is $10,000 and the company will pay the rest.

The project is scheduled to completely renovate the exterior of the building.

Toni Van Horn, vice president of Sound Communications, said the company's newly acquired building is ugly in its current state. The matching grant money will give it a "much more attractive exterior."

According to the company's project plan, Sound Communications intends to install a type of stucco and new trim on the outside of its new building.

Otherwise, Van Horn said, the company could afford only to paint the outside of the building.

She said she is "very, very grateful" to have been awarded the grant.

The two other grant recipients are the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce and property owner Doug Grossman.

Chamber officials plan to do some roofing, exterior painting and electrical work at a total cost of about $19,000.

The chamber received almost $9,500 for the project on its building at 4069 Broadway.

Grossman was awarded $630 to replace a back door at his 4050 Broadway property. The total project cost is about $1,255.

That leaves six more applicants awaiting an award. The total grant program pot is $50,000, and $20,000 is already gone.

"I think that we will definitely use the $50,000 this year," Boso said.

He added he will ask council to increase the total grant program pool soon.

Also, council will vote May 3 to further amend the grant program to make Southwest Public Libraries eligible. In the changes passed in March, SPL was considered ineligible.

Mark Shaw, library executive director, said the Grove City Library could use help repairing its roof, especially because the library has fallen on tough financial times, Shaw said.

He said the project would cost about $20,000.

He added he will speak in favor of the amendment during a council meeting May 3.

According to library information, annual revenue for SPL since 2001 has fallen from $4.5-million to about $3-million.