Briefly

Public hearing dates set to learn about submitting ideas for $335 million in Economic Recovery Act

By: - August 31, 2022 2:44 pm

Olsson team uses space at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to sift through community comments that will help state lawmakers carry out the Economic Recovery Act focused on South and North Omaha. (CIndy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

OMAHA — Four public hearings have been scheduled for Omahans to learn more about how to submit proposals to use millions of dollars available under the Economic Recovery Act.

The act, enacted with the passage of Legislative Bill 1024 by the Nebraska Legislature earlier this year, provides $335 million to assist North and South Omaha and other areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

State Sen. Justin Wayne speaking at an earlier  gathering in Omaha to mark passage of the Economic Recovery Act. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

The amount includes state and federal funds, including about $250 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

While a portion of the ARPA funding already was appropriated to specific projects, the bulk remains open to ideas that are to be vetted and narrowed by a special legislative committee. The committee is assisted by the private Omaha-based Olsson design and engineering consulting team.

Olsson and the special legislative committee will be hearing testimony and answering questions from the public during the meetings. No formal presentation is to be made, but the Olsson team will be available to provide guidance to applicants, according to a media release from State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, the chair of the Legislature’s Urban Affairs Committee and leader of the special committee.

The special committee met earlier in August to hear results of stakeholder meetings that the Olsson team organized with business and nonprofit leaders of North and South Omaha.

Meetings geared for the general public:

  • Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. and Sept. 20 at 5 p.m., both at Metropolitan Community College, South Omaha campus, 2709 Edward Babe Gomez Ave., Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), Room 120.
  • Sept. 21, 5 p.m., Omaha Public Schools Teacher Administrative Center (TAC) Auditorium, 3215 Cuming St.
  • Sept. 22, 11 a.m., Metropolitan Community  College, Fort Omaha campus, 5370 N. 30th St., Swanson Conference Center (Building 22), Room 201.

Information about the public meetings will be posted on the Legislature’s website.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.

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