Pierce Awarded Downtown Revitalization Opportunity Grant Funding

LINCOLN – Just under four million dollars was recently awarded to nine communities through the 2022 Downtown Revitalization Opportunity.

According to a release from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), projects include the rehabilitation of downtown commercial buildings and sidewalk/street improvements.

A federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program, administered by DED on behalf of Nebraska’s non-entitlement communities, provides CDBG dollars to help communities tackle projects that enhance public health and safety, economic well-being, local vitality and quality of life.

All the funded communities established a solid approach to impactful community development, demonstrating collaboration and support by the local businesses and residents for downtown revitalization.

Of the $3.915 million, the City of Pierce in Pierce County was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. In 2017, Pierce was awarded a CDBG Planning grant in partnership with Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District (NENEDD). The 2018 Downtown Revitalization (DTR) Study and Plan included business owners survey in partnership with local officials and citizen participation. The project includes the renovation of up to 10 privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

For additional information about funding opportunities available to Nebraska communities under the CDBG program, including Downtown Revitalization, visit opportunity.nebraska.gov, or contact Steve Charleston at steve.charleston@nebraska.gov.

A brief community project description follows:

 

Auburn. The City of Auburn, Nemaha County, was awarded $435,000 for the rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. Auburn has completed two successful DTR implementation phases resulting in more than 40 completed projects. Each of which has resulted in the improvement of the downtown business district. This project includes the reconstruction of up to six privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

Aurora. The City of Aurora, Hamilton County, was awarded $435,000 for the rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. The City conducted a downtown vision implementation plan study in 2021 that supported collaboration amongst businesses, city officials, and citizens for Aurora’s downtown revitalization initiatives. The project includes the renovation of up to eight privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

Benkelman. The Village of Benkelman, Dundy County, was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. A downtown revitalization plan with partnership amongst the Redevelopment Authority, Chamber, and local businesses set the foundation for downtown improvement initiatives. The project includes the renovation of up to 15 privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

David City.  The City of David City, Butler County, was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. A Slum and Blight Determination Study conducted in 1998 and most recently revised in 2009, indicates that over 71% of the total properties in the project area are 40 years of age or older. The project includes the renovation of up to 15 privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

Fairbury. The City of Fairbury, Jefferson County, was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. A Downtown Revitalization (DTR) Plan was completed in 2021 that was funded by a 2019 CDBG Planning award. Residents, business owners, and groups like the Historic Preservation Committee worked together in planning sessions to set a plan for downtown restoration. The project includes the renovation of up to eight privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

Hebron. The City of Hebron, Thayer County, was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. The downtown plan led to success in the first phase of CDBG DTR funding in 2020, there have been 15 completed projects, and five are still in progress. The awarded 2022 DTR 2nd phase, there have been 30 pre-applications submitted that list nearly $1.4 million in proposed project activities. The project includes the renovation of up to 12 privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

Pierce.  The City of Pierce, Pierce County, was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. In 2017 Pierce was awarded a CDBG Planning grant in partnership with Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District (NENEDD). The 2018 Downtown Revitalization (DTR) Study and Plan included business owners survey in partnership with local officials and citizen participation. The project includes the renovation of up to 10 privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

 

Sutton. The City of Sutton, Clay County, was awarded $435,000 for reconstruction of sidewalks/ street crossings/ curbs. A 2018 CDBG planning grant enabled the City of Sutton to complete a downtown revitalization study and plan. The City of Sutton continues the success of the 2019 CDBG (South Saunders) downtown revitalization project. The downtown sidewalk/ street crossings/ curb reconstruction project addresses public safety through the removal of architectural barriers that restrict accessibility for the elderly and severely disabled.

 

Syracuse.  The City of Syracuse, Otoe County, was awarded $435,000 for rehabilitation of commercial properties within the downtown supporting local businesses. In 2021, Syracuse completed a Downtown Revitalization (DTR) Plan prepared by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), which defined the boundaries of the downtown business district. The project includes the renovation of up to 14 privately owned commercial building facades, along with meeting public safety and energy efficiency needs.

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