The Fremont City Council approved resolutions during its meeting on Tuesday that will help spur the completion of several significant local improvement projects in coming years.
The council approved a resolution that will provide $1.125 million in grant funds for a planned $3.5 million renovation to the City Auditorium and approved a bid to Luxa Construction to complete the long-planned Johnson Road South paving project at the meeting.
The council unanimously voted to authorize the mayor to execute a contract with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development which awarded the city with a $1.125 million Civic and Community Center Financing grant.
“We are very excited about this grant for the auditorium,” City Grant Coordinator Lottie Mitchell said about the substantial grant awarded to the city.
CCCFF grants are awarded to municipalities and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) to foster quality of life in communities. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.
The grant will help fund a $3.5 million renovation of the Fremont City Auditorium, which has built in the 1930s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
The renovation project will also be funded with help from a $2 million bond issues passed by Fremont voters in 2018, as well as $750,000 budgeted by the city for the project.
Mitchell said that the CCCFF grant is unique due to the fact that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development issues half of the funds upon execution of the contract.
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“They issue 50 percent of the funds to help cash flow the project, which is different than our other grants where they reimburse you after you have spent all your money,” she said. “It’s a really nice feature.”
According to Mitchell, designs for the renovation project have been completed and the project is expected to go out to bid in the next couple of weeks. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.
Following the vote to execute the contract, Councilmember Mike Kuhns expressed his appreciation to both city staff and the Fremont community for their support of the project.
“This has been a project from day one that has been near and dear to my heart and I just wanted to congratulate city staff on the wonderful job they have done and to thank the residents of Fremont who stepped up to vote for the bond so we can preserve this precious building,” he said.
The council also approved a $1,579,424.40 bid from Luxa Construction, based out of Blair, to complete the long-planned Johnson Road South paving project which will connect Johnson Road to Morningside Road.
The project will pave Johnson Road nearly 38 feet in width and 2,760 feet in length including sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer near Jack Sutton Drive to the intersection of Morningside Road to the south.
Luxa Construction came in with the lowest of two bids, with the other coming from Graham Construction at more than $1.8 million, and the project will be completed using funds budgeted from the Street Fund.