Desert Hot Springs Spending Half A Million for Beautification Efforts

Kamari Esquerra

The City of Desert Hot Springs is getting a makeover. Last week, Desert Hot Springs City Council voted unanimously to invest half a million dollars toward beautification efforts for neighborhoods.. and businesses in the city. 

“(We’re offering) up to $10,00 per business owner and up to $10,00 per homeowner,” said Scott Matas, Mayor of Desert Hot Springs. 

The grants will be provided by the American Rescue Plan and funds from the Housing Authority. It’s based on a three phase program. The first – helping residents spruce up their homes.

“We’ll go into neighborhoods, we’ll pick a neighborhood,” said Matas. “We’ll give grants to homeowners to fix up their homes such as landscaping, paint, roofing, maybe even some windows.

The second phase is supporting small businesses. 

“… Fix trash enclosures, landscaping, maybe your signs. We know that the pandemic hit people really hard and so this is an opportunity to give back to our community,” said Matas.

And finally, city leaders will work with local schools to offer students a weeklong educational program about recycling, concluding with a campus cleanup. 

“And then at the end of that week, we’re going to take that Saturday morning maybe an hour or two and go out and pick up some trash, sweep some sidewalks,” said Matas. “Just beautify the school, giving the kids an opportunity to feel like they’ve done something for their community.”

City leaders say the goal for the beautification program is to be an ongoing initiative, with plans to include the program into the city’s budget cycle every two years.   

“We think this is an opportunity that if we continue to give these opportunities out to our homeowners and our business owners and educate the kids, it will continue to make the community as beautiful as we’re trying to get to,” said Matas. 

Homeowners do not have to apply for the grant. Neighborhoods will be selected and homeowners in designated neighbors will be notified by the city. Small busines owners can apply for the grant by calling (760) 329-6411. 

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