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Q: It looks like another round of welfare payments is coming up for some of the businesses on Main Street. It's been kept kind of quiet. Could that be because the businesses that got $10,000 grants last year can now turn around and ask for $20,000 more? Maybe I could go sell pencils on Main Street and put in for a grant.

A: "I would welcome someone to sell pencils on Main Street," Manager Karen Greenspoon said with a laugh. "We don't have a pencil vendor."

Seriously, there are 11 applicants for the four $20,000 facade grants available this year. While those who received $10,000 grants last year can reapply this year, those applying for the first time will have priority, Greenspoon said.

According to grant guidelines, eligible activities include landscape and streetscape improvements, building facade treatment improvements, replacement and/or upgrade of nonconforming signage, and improved access for the disabled. The federally-funded Community Development Block Grant Program is administered by the Arizona Department of Commerce.

"I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not on the committee that awards the grants," she said.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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