When federal funds run out, the Columbia City Council must decide whether or not to continue funding facade projects

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Community Development Block Grant has made it possible for certain Columbia businesses to receive 80 percent of the cost to renovate their storefronts and has been implemented in various parts of town, but the $340,000 fund will soon be used up.

In order to continue their efforts, the Columbia City Council will have to decide whether or not to finance the project from their general fund. Program Coordinator Gerry Lynn Hall says the new storefronts have not only helped the businesses, but can also detract from negative activity in the future. Mayor Steve Benjamin says he fully supports funding the facade grants in the future if the project continues to work.

"Financial support coming from the state, coming from the federal government has dwindled over the last several decades," said Benjamin. "Cities that want to be successful and want to be thriving, livable, walkable communities of the 21st century take their future into their own hands. We don't wait on the federal government to come to our aid, we get it done."

Hall says the next area they're looking at to use up the second portion of leftover funding will be the Two Notch Road corridor inside the city limits.

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