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

Tourism Director Proposes Changes to Grant System


August 8, 2018

Create an event that interests people and you also increase the chances of people visiting cafes and businesses in town as well. That is the theory among the tourism industry: give people a reason to attend an event, and they are more likely to also stop at a restaurant, shop at a local store and possibly rent a hotel room.

However, to get there, people need to know about the event. They need a reason to take the day trip, or further.

Cheyenne County Tourism Director Kevin Howard met with the Cheyenne County Commissioners Monday regarding a grant request from the Cruisen’ Class Car Club. Howard said the meeting is about more than the car club.

“This is not necessarily about them,” he said. “It is about the procedure.”

Howard said he wants to see the process focused on reimbursement more than funding before an event.

“We’re paying out the grants before the events,” he said. “Eventually, I want to change this to a reimbursement grant.”

He admitted the challenge will be some organizations do not have the funds to promote an event upfront. Part of what he wants to see changed is if a project is funded upfront, the organization is expected to submit copies of receipts and invoices showing how the grant was spent.

“That is the way it is supposed to be,” said commissioner Philip Sanders.

Howard said he plans to meet with the various programs and agencies to educate them on the process.

The commissioners did approve the $1,500 requested by the Cruisen’ Class Car Club for its annual car show.

The commissioners also received correspondence from the City of Sidney regarding an underground utility conversion program. The letter addressed to the county said the City plans to move all utility wires underground. Property owners have the option of paying for their share of the cost in one lump sum, or over a 24-month period interest-free through their utility bill.

In other business, the commissioners approved a contract with Election Systems and Software for election ballot printing, denied a request for burial assistance for Randy Warren, and approved an agreement with Nebraska Department Of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad to install flashing lights at a railroad crossing near Potter. County Attorney Paul Schaub said a search by the assessor’s office showed two properties related to Warren, valued high enough to pay for the funeral.

Much of Monday’s meeting was spent with the commissioners meeting with department managers regarding their 2018-19 budget proposals.


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