By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -
For some homeowners, living in Prairie Village is paying off. The city has been helping people pay for home improvements in the area for the last five years.
The city council got a look at the latest numbers and supporters of the program say it's a success.
"We put in new windows, painted our house and did landscaping," said Tricia Stephens, who showed off her renovated home with a renewed sense of pride.
Stephens is one of 26 homeowners who benefited from the city's home improvement grant program in 2012.
It allows those who qualify to get up to 20 percent back on upgrades to the outside of their homes.
Stephens opted for new windows, paint and yard work.
"We probably wouldn't have done it all at once if we hadn't had the grant. The reimbursement encouraged us to go ahead and do it," she said.
The program began in 2008, targeting three neighborhoods known to have a high number of code violations.
Now Stephens would like to see the areas expand, saying it is a refreshing and creative use of tax dollars.
"They are reinvesting it right where we live. Helping to keep property values up helping people maintain their homes. I think it's a great way to spend the money," she said.
And that's music to the ears of those at city hall who say the program has exceeded expectations.
"I think it's a great win win situation. It looks at ways the city can encourage investment by private property owners with just a little incentive, it goes a long way," said Assistant City Administrator Dennis Enslinger.
The city council decided to extend the program in 2013.
All homeowners have to do is come by City Hall fill out an application to see if they qualify.
Last year, the city paid out just under $40,000. So far, about 100 homeowners have taken part in the program.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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