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

By Don Ogle
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Council Approves LB840 Fund Use For Hickory Square


Sidney's City Council approved the use of $250,000 of LB840 funds for the proposed Hickory Street Square Project at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The approval designates a needed match for a grant sought through the state's Civic and Community Center Financing Fund as part of financing for the project, which has a projected cost of $743,000.

During a review of the request, Melissa Norgaard, the city's economic development director, reminded council the LB840 funds come from a half-cent tax approved by voters. The request is authorization to use the funds, which are specifically set aside for downtown improvement.

Even with the request, the city will have nearly $50,000 remaining for other downtown needs. The fund also grows by about $50,000 each year through the tax. Norgaard said about $15,000 is used each year for downtown improvement projects.

In answer to a council question, Norgaard and Hickory Street project leader Greg Huck said the project will be entirely financed through grant and donated funds and that the project will not be undertaken until all funds are raised. Huck outlined several grants that are being sought, including one from the Union Pacific Railroad, State Farm, and several others.

If project financing isn't obtained, the LB840 funds would remain in city coffers.

Council was also assured that approval of the funds does not necessarily mean approval of the project itself. City Manager Ed Sadler said with the project being proposed on city property, council will need to specifically give project approval and will likely revisit it several times.

In other business:

- Council approved the purchase of a new mower for the golf course for $51,840.

- Approved a contract with Renkoski Vegitative Services for herbicide and fertilizer services in the city.

- Received an update on a city policy for when alternative (solar and wind) electrical systems used by homes or businesses are used in conjunction with city services.


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