Downtown Beatrice Redevelopment Grant Application Authorized

BEATRICE –  The formal application for a downtown redevelopment grant for Beatrice has been approved.   The City will send the application this week for $350,000, which will be used to establish a downtown façade improvement program.

City Attorney Greg Butcher says a steering committee will be formed to work out details of the program, allowing local business owners to tap state funding to improve the front of their building.  Butcher says a local match would have to finance at least a fourth of the cost.

:12                  “25% match”

The city could require a higher local match to stretch the grant money further.  Butcher says the city opted not to include local infrastructure projects as part of the local match, because of additional environmental regulations the city would have to comply with.

:10                  “and move on”

Among the infrastructure work next year is a reconstruction of Second Street, work along 5th Street and some alley construction.  Any façade projects with downtown businesses would have to meet Nebraska State Historical Society standards, now that a major part of the downtown area has been designated a National Historic District.

:21                  “and this body”

The city council authorized the formal grant application at a Monday night meeting.  It’s expected state approval could come in a few weeks.  The council conducted a public hearing on the application.

In other action during a joint city council-board of public works meeting, the council approved selling a lot in the Gage County Industrial Park to Russell and Rebecca Behrends, for $13,500.  The lot includes a small pond, and is located north of Worldlawn Power Equipment.  Closing on the property would occur before the end of the year.  The city retains an easement.

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