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Donnelly gets grant for business

January 28, 2011

With every new business comes renovations and that is exactly what junior Jack Donnelly is doing to the former Touch of Country building on the town’s square as he turns it in to his new night club, AfterDark.

However, these changes bring expenses. This past summer the Monmouth city council passed a new Downtown Business Grant program, which provides grant money to businesses in downtown Monmouth for renovations and improvements. Council members voted to provide a maximum of $50,000 to Donnelly to use for renovations.

The grant program is funded for $750,000 over the next five years. Approximately $75,000 of that will come annually from the tax increment financing or TIF fund, and $75,000 from the Monmouth Business Council, which received money through an anonymous community foundation. This program will pay for only 33 percent of a project with a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $50,000, which was provided to Donnelly. 

Donnelly commented on the grant he received by saying that much of the money has already been used. Specifically, the grant  money went to a new staircase to the second level of the building, new electrical work on the top floor, new windows, replacement of floors, paint, a wheelchair lift and elevator for handicap access. A new sprinkler system has also been installed throughout the building. 

Donnelly said this has been a long process and he is happy he has received so much support from those in the community, especially Eric Hanson, Monmouth’s city administrator.

“Everyone has been very receptive and really wants to see the business succeed,” said Donnelly. “This is a chance to bring students and those not from town to bring money to the downtown area.” 

Donnelly plans on turning the upper level of the building into a dance club aimed at underage students, and to also be available for parties. The lower level is to be rented out for other businesses. Donnelly plans to have his club open by March 18.  

BY JIM FRY
Contributing Writer

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