With highly trafficked streets in desperate need of mending, the citizens of Mitchell (pop. 1,831) took the initiative to pave the way for repair. The City’s 1 & 6 Year Street Improvement Program listed the streets as a high priority for a number of years. Through the community’s membership in the Panhandle Area Development District, Mitchell officials became aware of available Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding in the Public Works category through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. In 2008, the community applied for and received $250,000. Local matching funds were raised through bonds which will be retired with street funds.
The funds were used to install curb, gutter, sidewalks and paving in three areas of Mitchell. The paved roads eliminated the large amount of maintenance previously needed for gravel roads, as well as reduced the areas with standing water after a rain. There is no longer a dust problem, and with the addition of sidewalks, residents are enjoying walks to class and around the neighborhood. More people have begun to use the streets which in turn lessened previous traffic congestion on adjacent streets. The community looks forward to seeing citizen improvements to private properties adjacent to the streets.
With the successful street project under its belt, Mitchell is now working with the Library Board and Panhandle Area Development District to construct an addition to the public library. Already, there have been local fundraisers and donations to help provide the local match. Mitchell will continue to grow and develop its community through the use of CDBG funds.