January 17, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.) —The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded $700,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to two Nebraska communities for improvements designed to provide for investments in effective and affordable tourist attraction facilities to grow Nebraska communities that invest in long-term development. The tourist attraction project improvements will enable severely disabled persons and the elderly accessibility to attraction’s buildings and grounds.

The CDBG Tourism Development Category is open to CDBG non-entitlement incorporated municipalities throughout Nebraska. Grants are administered by DED from the State’s annual allocation of CDBG funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Below are brief descriptions about the two projects and their awards:

Brownville $350,000 CDBG award and $109,000 matching funds: The sponsor beneficiary is the Brownville Concert Series. The Brownville Concert Series is a program of the Brownville Fine Arts Association (BFAA). The project is for the renovation of the Brownville Concert Hall to bring the facility into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) regulations and structural improvements for public safety benefits. The major improvements to the building include roof replacement and foundation stabilization; along with accessible restrooms, lobby, concessions, entrances, and elevator. The project improvements provide for the removal of materials and architectural barriers, which allow for accessibility to the facility for the elderly and severely disabled adults. For more information contact John Lauber at 402-825-1240, or

Dawson County $350,000 CDBG award and $110,800 matching funds: The sponsor beneficiary is the non-profit Dawson County Agricultural Society, Inc. The project is for major improvements to the Dawson County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds host more than 20 annual events each year, which draws visitors from the region and from more than 20 states. The fairgrounds racetrack draws 700-1,000 attendees each week from a tri-state region, plus the county fair attendance averages around 12,000 annually. The improvements to the fairgrounds and facilities for removal of accessibility barriers include: restroom upgrades, accessible parking, grandstand modifications for seating/ramps/pathways, and other surfacing improvements to meet the ADA regulations. For more information, contact Jennifer McKeone at 308-217-0004 or
For information about DED’s tourism development process, contact Steve Charleston at 800-426-6505, 402-471-3757, or

Media Contact Kate Ellingson at 1-800-426-6505, 1-402-471-3749 or email