The Roundup -

City To Use Downtown Enhancement Funds

 


With the City of Sidney facing an anticipated budget deficit of about $500,000, Sidney Mayor Rick Norby informed county commissioners last week that he plans to use the money in the downtown enhancement fund to pay for other city projects.

“Guys, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to use it up,” Norby told commissioners.

The funds had about $122,000. All the money came from the city. Some businesses made pledges for the downtown enhancement, but the project never got to the point where actual donations were received. The first areas of downtown enhancement were planned for the 100 blocks of Main Street. The exterior areas of the courthouse were created with downtown renewal in mind.

Part of the funds will be used on the bike path. Public works director Jeff Hintz said a federal transportation grant will pay for most of the $840,000 extension, but the city would need to pay about $105,000. The walking path will be extended about four blocks.

Norby is also planning to repair the Flags of Honor room located at Veterans Memorial Park. He said with some city employees handling carpentry work, repairs will cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

“The whole building needs work, not just that room,” Hintz explained.

Norby said that the downtown enhancement project isn’t dead, but it may not be looked at again for a couple of years.

“We’re still in the game for it, but it might take a couple of years,” Norby said.

Richland County Commissioner Shane Gorder said officials haven’t discussed downtown renewal for some time because of the high costs.

“I think you’re utilizing the money well,” Gorder said. “It’s money that has been sitting there for some time.”

Norby noted, “We just want you to know what direction we’re leaning.”

 

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