The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Hickory Square Project Moving Forward

 

January 26, 2018

COURTESY PHOTO

The vision is of a destination location, a draw to downtown that will also benefit other businesses. It will be a permanent venue for concerts and public events. It will be located in an historic location with businesses surrounding it and within view of historic buildings to the north and businesses to the south.

The intent is to provide a permanent location for events like Downtown Sounds, the Farmer's Market and Christmas Events.

Hickory Square started a few years ago when the City of Sidney received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Downtown Revitalization from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. 

The vision of Hickory Square will cost more than $800,000 as first designed, Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Denise Wilkinson told the Sidney City Council Tuesday. She added the Hickory Square committee revamped the project, streamlining costs for a savings of about $100,000. The cost is still high, but not without options, according to Wilkinson.

"I know you're saying 'we don't have it,'" she said before Council. "You're right, but people do. I've applied for five grants. We want to do it with grants, sponsorships."

In addition to the grant writing, the Hickory Square committee is seeking public and private support for the project. During the Tuesday city council meeting, Wilkinson was encouraged to contact the Union Pacific, Great Western and Anhauser Busch for grant opportunities.

The concept includes covered parking, a permanent stage facing south onto a lawn, possibly covered with AstroTurf, a fire pit and a splash pad. The site will also include planters and moveable benches. The improvements would make a permanent fixture from the markers on the north side of Hickory Street to about where the alley enters 11th.

 

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