The Village of Wausa has taken the first steps to downtown revitalization.
Wausa hosted three members of the revitalization committee on Thursday, October 27 in hopes of qualifying for phase one planning for the state's downtown revitalization grants.
The committee, along with Knox County Economic Development Director Megan Hanefeldt and Northeast Nebraska Economic Development Director Lowell Schroeder, took a tour of downtown Wausa to speak with business owners and see various opportunities for improvement in the town.
After the tour, the group met with more than 30 community members for a lunch and open forum discussion of the opportunities the committee saw. The lunch was served by members of Wausa's FBLA.
The committee spoke of the criteria they are looking for when determining who is eligible for the grants and they were very complimentary of Wausa.
"One of the things we always see when we come to a town, and you can tell right away, is the pride in your community," said Brian Gaskill, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development. "It is clear in Wausa that their is definitely that."
Gaskill explained that they look to see if their are existing businesses in downtown, other opportunities for improvement and whether or not it makes sense to give the grant to the town as an investment for the state as a whole.
"Clearly what we've seen in our visit today is that their is a good mix of everything," he said. "You have quality businesses, quality people and you have pride."
The day was the first step towards downtown revitalization grants. If selected for phase one funding, Wausa will be awarded grant money to use towards planning downtown revitalization. From there, if the town is accepted for phase two funding, they will receive a grant that can be spread to businesses to improve various aspects of the town.