The sense of community is significant to residents of Dixon, which is why the village community center is so vital. When the community center needed drastic improvements, it was the community that rallied to its support. Originally built in 1938, the community center was constructed from lumber that had been removed from the old school basketball court. Through the years, the reused lumber rotted away and the building was no longer sustainable. Repairs were simply too expensive.
For several years, village officials and volunteers held fundraisers, including soup suppers, pancake feeds, and fish fries to help pay for a new center. A survey of local residents and a town hall meeting in 2007 reaffirmed the top priority need for a new community center. During planning meetings with staff from Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, it was decided the best way to fund the project was to pursue a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. In August 2008, Dixon was awarded $191,000 in CDBG funding for the center. The fundraising dollars were used as required matching funds.
Dixon residents are proud of their new community center, so much so that the entire surrounding area uses it regularly for receptions, craft fairs, benefits, community meetings, and other projects. To some degree, everyone in Dixon contributed to its completion. Today volunteers regularly contribute time and efforts to its upkeep.
Village chairman Jeffrey Hartung said, “Our little town stood up and said we can do this with the help of our community and surrounding area and we did. When someone says it can’t be done have them call us and we will tell them it can be done.”