The Scottsbluff City Council has approved spending $25,000 from their discretionary funds to pay for a portion of the engineering study plans to finalize development of the 18th Street Downtown Plaza.
The money will go to the Business Improvement District, and with an additional $15,000 in state funds would pay for plans which would include such amenities as a stage, fire pits and climbing rocks.
Economic Development Director Starr Lehl told the council with completion of the plaza, the city should see some of the same type of returns as the city of Gering has seen with their downtown gathering location. “Eventually, I’m hoping it kind of pays for itself, because we’ll be able to charge different groups to come in,” said Lehl, “if they want to have their company picnic, or they want to have a wedding, a reception or something like that, we would charge for the use of the Plaza.”
To finance the estimated $500,000 needed to complete the project, officials say fundraising would be undertaken to raise half of the cost, which could be matched by a state Civic and Community Center Financing Fund grant similar to the award received that’s paying for a part of the 23 Club renovation project.
Deputy Public Works Director Jordan Diedrich told the council the engineering plans would be a key in helping raise money that would go toward the final product.