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Tuesday, 14 March 2006

$368,400 awarded to attractions through tourism initiative

By Nebraska Department of Economic Development

LINCOLN (Sept. 17, 2001) -- For the second time this year, Governor Mike Johanns has awarded grant money to six tourism development projects across the state. The Nebraska Tourism Development Initiative (TDI) grants awarded today totaled $368,400. Six TDI grants awarded in May equaled $750,000.

Established in July 1998, the TDI grant program provides funds to tourism development projects that have already attracted significant financial support and are projected to have a long-term, positive impact on local and regional economies. Qualifications for funding require the physical development of new tourism attractions or physical improvements to existing tourism attractions. Applicants also are required to find local contributions equal to or greater than 50 percent of a project's total cost.

Statewide business expansion and support is an ongoing mission of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). The department administers federal funds made available to Nebraska communities with populations under 50,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant program.

Governor Johanns praised the projects and the commitment exhibited by the project leaders, and stressed the economic benefit to several areas of the state.

The six projects and grant amounts are:

  • Renovation of the Historic Midwest Theatre Marquee -- $45,000. Funds will be used to renovate the marquee of the 53-year-old historic Midwest Theatre in downtown Scottsbluff back to its original splendor. Funds also will be used to expand the interior stage to accommodate live performances and to repair interior neon fixtures. The theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Dilller Bank Museum Restoration -- $25,000. Funds will be used to renovate and restore the Diller Bank Museum in Jefferson County. The building is listed on the Natonal Register of Historic Places. On completion, the museum will be able to extend its operating hours. Visitors can explore the historical and cultural heritage of Jefferson County and Diller through interactive exhibits and special displays.
  • The Nebraska Motorplex Improvement Project -- $108,400. Funds will be used to improve the Dodge County raceway near Scribner. Seating will be replaced and expanded. The motorplex attracts competitors and spectators from several states.
  • Handicapped Lift Replacement at Kearney's Museum of Nebraska Art -- $20,000. TDI funds will be used to construct a new handicapped accessible lift for visitors with limited mobility, making the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney fully accessible to all.
  • Restoration of the Broken Arrow Wilderness Area and Camp -- $150,000. TDI funds will help restore the camp, rich in history, near Fullerton. In 1844, the site was home to Nebraska's first formal Fourth of July celebration. Several chautauquas were hosted there between 1897 and 1929. The camp was developed in the 1930 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and significant additions were made in the 1940s when it was known as the Moses Merrill Baptist Camp. Left idle since 1974, the camp was purchased in 1999 by the current owners who wanted to make it available for a variety of outdoor experiences.
  • Columbia Hall Renovation in Dannebrog -- $20,000. TDI funds will be used to renovate Columbia Hall and return it to use as a center for social activities, entertainment and community services. A tourist welcome center will be included. Dannebrog's Danish history will be featured.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 March 2006 )
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