The Town of Lockport is applying for a federal grant that would encourage a few South Transit businesses to make some improvements.

Town board members decided to pursue the grant Monday after hearing about the program from Economic Development Coordinator David Kinyon. The $500,000 matching grant is made available with funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and is distributed by state officials. The money would be given to businesses to improve their facades, making their properties more attractive.

Kinyon identified a target area where the funding could go — businesses on the west side of South Transit, extending from Ruhlmann Road to Strauss Road on the south. Kinyon’s office has already sent out information to the businesses to see if there is any interest.

“We’ve had eight responses,” Kinyon said.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said up to 10 businesses would receive up to $50,000 from the grant, which would be matched by the town for a total of $100,000.

There is no fee for the town to participate, but the application deadline is April 23. The entire process will be very competitive, Kinyon added. An informational meeting will be held in the near future, he said.

In other town news:

• Smith said the town would hire Industrial Appraisal of Pittsburgh for about $7,800. The firm would appraise property and equipment, something the town hasn’t done in six years, he said.

• Brush pickup will take place on three separate occasions during 2010. For roads north of and including Lincoln Avenue and Hinman Road, brush pickup will begin April 19, with two other dates on June 28 and Sept. 27.

Roads south of Lincoln Avenue and Hinman Road will have their first brush pickup April 26, with two other dates on July 5 and Oct. 4. The Town Highway Department will not pick up brush larger than 8 inches in diameter, and all brush must be out before 7 a.m. on the morning of scheduled pickup.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.

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