Union Bridge's Main Street Revitalization Committee has received a $29,500 grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to launch its efforts to improve the downtown.
The money comes from the state's Community Development Block Grant program, which helps local governments implement programs and projects that improve housing, economic opportunities and living environments.
Union Bridge Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. said the committee would use the money to hire a consultant for its revitalization plan.
"This is a planning grant, so we can hire a consultant to put together the plan we have, to see where to start," he said. "The consultant would work with the engineer to get to the nitty-gritty of the plan."
For instance, Jones said the town wants to put in all new underground utilities.
"We don't want to do something else, then have to tear up the streets to put in the utilities," he said.
Other projects include sidewalks, brick walkways and benches along Main Street, and additional public parking so people won't have to walk so far to shop downtown.
"Maybe there's a building we can buy and tear down and make a parking lot," Jones suggested.
The mayor said the town would probably apply for more grants as the revitalization continues, but for now, this money will get them started.
"With the money we can plan a little bit better by hiring a professional instead of doing it all ourselves," he said.
Union Bridge's grant was one of eight totaling $460,000 awarded in the semi-annual competition by DHCD.