A popular program that offers face lifts for old buildings could become more popular after the Medford Urban Renewal Agency today tripled the budget and the amount available to renovate a building.

A popular program that offers face lifts for old buildings could become more popular after the Medford Urban Renewal Agency today tripled the budget and the amount available to renovate a building.

The MURA board, which is made up of City Council members, expanded the facade program to include government buildings as well as businesses.

The annual budget is set at $450,000 compared to $150,000 previously. The amount a particular business can receive from a matching grant jumped from $37,500 to $100,000.

About 60 businesses in the downtown core have benefited from the program. The MURA board decided to expand the program to include businesses and government buildings in the entire MURA area, which extends from McAndrews Road on the north through Belknap Road on the south and includes most of downtown.

Buildings must have been constructed prior to 1988 to qualify for the program.

The city hopes to have an application form available on its website Friday at www.ci.medford.or.us/urbanrenewal.

MURA boundaries: http://www.downtownmedford.com/mura/interactive_map/

— Damian Mann