Community grant program expanded

Grant limitations under the state’s Civic and Community Center Financing Act are expanded under a bill passed April 6.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist34' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Curt Friesen'>Sen. Curt Friesen</a>
Sen. Curt Friesen

LB940, introduced by Henderson Sen. Curt Friesen, increases by 50 percent the amount of funds eligible to be requested by municipalities and reduces from five to two years the period that a municipality must wait between grants awards.

The CCCF fund is supported by a turn-back of 30 percent of new state sales tax generated by arenas constructed under the Convention Center Facility Financing Assistance Act and the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act and retailers near the arenas. Grants from the fund are awarded to communities based on a project’s readiness, financial support and likelihood of attracting new activity to Nebraska.

The bill expands the list of eligible CCCF properties to include parks and historic buildings or districts. It also clarifies that property receiving a grant under the CCCF Act must be owned by the municipality and cannot be sold within five years of receiving a grant.

Applications from municipalities that have not received grant funds within the last 10 years will be given priority by the state Department of Economic Development.

The bill passed 48-0 and takes effect immediately.

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