Six Nebraska communities awarded grants for historic preservation

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Six different Nebraska communities have received grants for historic preservation as part of the Certified Local Government program. History Nebraska made the announcement Tuesday, noting that it awarded a total of $136,380 in matching grant funding to Auburn, Lincoln, Neligh, North Platte, Omaha and Plattsmouth.

The Certified Local Government program is a partnership between the local, state, and federal government to increase local preservation activities and link local governments with a network of similar organizations. Certified Local Governments meet federal and state standards and work to protect and promote their historic resources through long-range planning efforts and educational programming.

The Certified Local Government program is open to villages, cities, and counties of all sizes. Nebraska’s current Certified Local Governments are Auburn, Fairbury, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha, Plattsmouth, Red Cloud, and Sidney.

The City of Auburn received $20,795 to develop an educational photo display on one of the buildings in their historic downtown, hold events in historic properties to spur redevelopment ideas, and develop a partnership with high school students and residents of a local care facility to create a documentary about the town’s historic resources. City officials will also attend conferences and workshops to learn about historic preservation projects in other communities.

The City of Lincoln received $30,500 to survey and evaluate the Axtell Heights/Indian Village neighborhood for its historic district potential. Lincoln also focuses preservation activities on educational opportunities so they will update their website of historic resources and record brown bag lectures for the public. City officials will also attend conferences to learn about historic preservation projects in other communities.

The City of Neligh received $21,000 to develop a walking tour app for their downtown commercial historic district. Neligh is not a current Certified Local Government, but they have completed several steps to become one. They are completing this grant project to promote preservation and create excitement about their historic resources and the Certified Local Government program. Their goal is to become a Certified Local Government sometime after the completion of this project.

The City of North Platte received $12,000 to update the walking tour of their downtown historic district. North Platte created the original downtown walking tour in 2010, and it has proven to be very popular with residents and tourists. The update will incorporate additional information and corrections volunteers have found since the creation of the original tour. It will also include additional buildings that were not included in the original tour.

The City of Omaha received $40,300 to write National Register of Historic Places nominations for the Florence commercial district and the Radial Hills commercial district. The goal of these nominations is to recognize the historic significance of these areas, spur redevelopment, and promote the use of historic tax credits in redevelopment projects. Omaha will also update their online story map of historic resources in the city. City officials, planners, developers, and the public use the story map for their projects to learn and teach others about Omaha’s historic resources.

The City of Plattsmouth received $11,785 to hold two educational programs. Plattsmouth officials identified a need to educate the public on how to maintain and repair historic resources in their community. Because of this, one of the programs will have a hands-on focus on maintenance and repair of a specific building material. City officials will also attend conferences to learn about historic preservation projects in other communities.