Trio of projects receiving grants

September 14, 2018

Three area projects aiming to draw visitors to Gage County will receive grant funding.

Gage County Tourism director Nolan Fast presented three applications for Gage County Tourism grants to the County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

One of the grants is for $15,000 to restore the one-room school in McCandless Park in Wymore.

“There’s an old, one-room school that’s pretty dilapidated or deteriorated,” Fast said. “The Welsh Heritage Center wants to fix that up and get it to look like it did originally. They feel that preserving the history of those schools is very important, and I would agree. In Gage County especially, history is a large part of our tourism attendance.”

The total cost of the project is estimated to cost $45,000.

Workers hope to begin the three- to six-month project sometime this fall.

Fast said the school had 1,300 visitors last year and records show tourism numbers for the building have increased in the last three years.

A $10,000 grant was approved to build a splash pad in Astro Park in Beatrice.

A splash pad is a recreation area with water spraying nozzles.

Fast said the northeast area where Astro Park is located stays busy with baseball and other sports tournaments in the summer and that a splash pad will be another asset to the area.

“A big part of why the committee wanted to push it through is because of location,” Fast said. “These are tourism funds and the reason they think that works, and I agree, is that Beatrice is such a large sports venue with our baseball teams.

“The amount of people coming through is quite a bit and with Astro Park being such a close proximity to Hannibal Park, we want to keep those teams and tournaments coming here. That’s just an awesome amenity for if a family comes and they have a child or small children, that’s a place for them to go between games.”

The total cost to install the splash pad is just over $100,000.

A grant was also approved to contribute funds to a marketing project being headed up by the NGage economic development group.

Erich Tiemann, who represents the county on the NGage board of directors, said the videos will be available for various entities to use.

“This is community-wide,” he said. “It’s not Beatrice, it’s not Wymore, it’s not Blue Springs - it’s Gage County. Each of these organizations in these different areas can use this footage for their own propaganda they want to put out. It’s really just a commercial for our area.”

NGage has previously been working with a company to launch the videos, which Fast described Wednesday as being movie-trailer length.

“Basically the purpose is to sell Gage County through a series of marketing videos that will be used over social media, commercials on television, wherever we can get them out,” Fast said. “The questions they will answer are what do we have to do, is it a great place to go work, live and visit? These videos are going to answer those questions.”

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