The Milford City Council is asking for business owners to give their ideas for revitalization projects.

The council heard from Jonathan Jank of the Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership about available downtown revitalization grants during its July 2 meeting.

Jank said the council had previously applied for the grant but didn’t receive it because it wasn’t a leadership certified city. It has since gained LCC status, so Jank encouraged the city to reapply.

Jank said the council could apply for two types of grants: a Phase 1 grant, which could fund a “master planning” process for revitalization goals, or a Phase 2 grant, which would put funds toward implementation on those goals if the city already has projects picked out.

The money could be used for a variety of projects, including updates to building facades, paving alleys or updating portions of the sewer system.

The city could apply for up to $400,000, and would have to match at least 25% (at least an additional $100,000). That match could come from the city budget, building and business owners, donors or other entities.

The deadline to apply for the Phase 1 grant is in October and the Phase 2 grant in September.

Council member Scott Bashore said he thought the council had a good idea of what projects it would use the money for.

Those projects would be pinpointed by a shorter pre-planning study if the city chooses to apply for the Phase 2 grant.

Council members Jason Stahl and Kelly Heser said they think the public would like to see projects being completed, such as facade improvements instead of underground projects like sewer system updates.

Jank said the funds can be diversified and spread out among different types of projects. 

Heser and Bashore volunteered to serve on an ad hoc committee for the grant project. They will consult with department heads, the Milford Chamber, business owners and others.

The council will approach the Citizen Advisory Review Committee with a request to pay up to $2,500 for the pre-planning study from LB 840 funds collected from sales tax.

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