Published On: Thu, Jun 8th, 2017

Work is underway to secure funds for downtown

WAUSA — Steps for a downtown revitalization project here are moving ahead for the Village of Wausa.
Plans are being put in place that will be used to make an application to secure over $300,000 in funds for the downtown revitalization project.
In November of 2016, Wausa was awarded a $30,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that is being used for Phase One of the project, which involves putting a plan in place for the village.
A steering committee was formed to help determine the needs and interests of businesses in the downtown area according to Jason Seagren, member of the committee.
Approximately 20 people attended the kick-off meeting held on April 27.
“It was an informative meeting,” Seagren said. “People that came to the meeting talked about what they would like to see done.”
Suggestions included new windows, facades/store front designs, sidewalks, handicap accessibility, and possibly a new roof.
Two more public meetings will be held throughout the summer and fall. The dates for the meetings have not yet been determined.
“All of the meetings that are held will be open to the public,” Seagren said.
The steering committee is hoping to have Phase One completed before the end of the year.
Communities must complete Phase One, which is the planning phase, in order to qualify to submit an application for funds for Phase Two of the project.
Grant funds for Phase Two can be up to $350,000 that would be available to implement the activities that are proposed in Phase One.
The Downtown Revitalization project is designed to provide resources for commercial rehabilitation and infrastructure improvements within the downtown area.
“We will be applying for the full amount,” Seagren said. “The amount awarded to Wausa will depend on what funds the State has available.”
Bill Schumacher, Chairman of the Village Board, is in favor of moving ahead with the downtown revitalization project.
“It will be good to spruce up the downtown area,” he said. “A couple of the businesses could use the help with the funds that can become available.”
Lowell Schroeder, from Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, and Megan Hanefeldt, Knox County Economic Development Director, have been working with the steering committee.
Members of the steering committee along with Seagren include Kelly Clausen, Lance Lundberg, Eric Wynia and Dawn Friedrich along with two Wausa High School students who are members of the Future Business Leaders of America. Friedrich is the advisor for the FBLA.