Neligh's downtown was on display Thursday afternoon in hopes of receiving grants of nearly $400,000 for downtown revitalization projects.
Representatives of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development toured downtown Neligh and stopped at 719 Fitness, Wanek Pharmacy, Antelope County Museum, 319 Graphics, Pitzer Digital and Mill Pointe before holding a stakeholder discussion at the City Council chambers.
"You obviously have a community that is trying to grow," said Steve Charleston, Director of Housing and Community Development. "I walked through and can see the progress of the community. To have enthusiasm and willingness of business owners to come and sit here is very positive. That speaks well of the community."
Neligh is one of 11 communities vying for the grant. Brian Gaskill, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development, said five of the communities will receive grants of $30,000 to develop plans for their respective communities' downtown projects. He said the top four plans will be awarded grants of $350,000.
"We hope by the end of the month we'll have reviewed all of the applications and can move forward from there. Sometime in August we'll make our announcement of the communities selected for the planning phase," Gaskill said.
As for the one plan that doesn't move forward with a revitalization grant, Gaskill said there may be other funding available, depending on the what projects the community hopes to accomplish.
"You want your plan to be a working document and something you can use to move forward," he said.
Neligh is one of just eight communities that have received the NDED Leadership Community designation. Others are Cambridge, Central City, Madison, Minden, Pender, Superior and Tecumseh.