|Gering to reapply for downtown redevelopment funds|
|January 17, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Gering’s second application for downtown redevelopment funding has been rejected by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
Rawnda Pierce, executive director of Twin Cities Development, said the application was rejected for the same reason as the first one – lack of input from the business community. Her agency is assisting Gering in writing the application.
However, Pierce said she’s optimistic about revising the application. “We’re just going to revise the sections the department thought needed more detail and then resubmit it.”
The initial application is for $30,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program for a planning grant. Once that funding is secured, a community planner will be hired to interview downtown business owners and do other research to determine what improvements are needed in the downtown area.
After the report is completed, Gering can apply for a $350,000 implementation grant to make the actual improvements. The downtown area identified for improvement runs along 10th St. from U St. to two blocks south of M St.
“There are just a couple areas the department asked us to expand on,” Pierce said. “We’ll revisit that, have a committee meeting with Gering businesses to discuss the items further. We want to know what business owners want to accomplish with the plan so we can make a better explanation.”
She added with further input, the application could be resubmitted within a month. “Hopefully, we should know something within a few months after that. The application is close, but needs to be less vague. The department just needs more details.”