The State of Nebraska, Department of Economic Development, will soon be accepting applications from Nebraska municipalities for grants to support the development of civic centers and community centers. A municipality seeking a grant should complete the enclosed brief preliminary application form and return it to the Department no earlier than February 1 but no later than February 15, 2013. This is the first step in a two-part grant application process. After February 15, the Department will seek more detailed information on eligible grant requests.
Legislation passed in 2011 created the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund. The Fund’s purpose is to support the development of civic and community centers throughout Nebraska and to support projects that foster maintenance or growth of communities.
The fund may be used for the construction of new civic centers or the renovation or expansion of existing civic or community centers, which may include the conversion, rehabilitation, or reuse of historic buildings. The fund may not be used for planning, programming, marketing, or advertising. The definitions of eligible projects are:
- Civic Center—a facility that is primarily used to host conventions, meetings, and cultural events and/or a library.
- Community Center—the traditional center of a community, typically comprised of a cohesive core of residential, civic, religious, and commercial buildings, arranged around a main street and intersecting streets.
Most Nebraska municipalities are eligible and may apply for a grant in competition with other municipalities. Not eligible is the City of Omaha, the City of Lincoln, the City of Ralston, or other municipality that has received funding under the Convention Center Facility Financing Assistance Act or the Sports Arena Facility Financial Assistance Act. A municipality will own and operate the center, directly or under contract, for which a grant is sought.
No grant should amount to more than 50 percent of the total cost of construction, renovation, or expansion. The minimum amount for a grant request is $10,000. The maximum amount, determined by the population (2010 Census) of a municipality, is:
- Population of 40,000 to 99,999, $750,000
- Population of 20,000 to 39,999, $500,000
- Population of 10,000 to 19,999, $400,000
- Population of 1 to 9,999, $250,000
An eligible municipality completing and returning the enclosed preliminary application form will be sent a final application form after February 15. Final application will need to be made by March 29. The Department will evaluate final application forms soon after they are received. Announcement of grants awarded will occur no later than April 30, 2013.
- Application Guidelines .doc