For Scottsbluff (pop. 15,023), maintaining a current and appealing appearance for their downtown was very important. They believed that some of the buildings were becoming an “eyesore” to the community and visitors alike. It was decided that the downtown area needed to be renewed.
In 2011, Scottsbluff was awarded $350,000 CDBG funding by DED. Along with that, over $595,000 in private investments and fundraising was appropriated for the project. Numerous projects were completed in Scottsbluff ’s downtown area including the installation of a public restroom. Another project was the addition of a permanent awning over the Farmers’ Market area. This helped create a permanent spot for the weekly farmers’ market to be held. To incorporate more space, parking downtown was changed from parallel to angle parking. A noticeable difference made to the downtown was renovation on Broadway Street. It was reduced from four lanes to two, with the addition of a turning lane, which made it more pedestrian friendly. Traffic signals and lights were also removed. These improvements changed the atmosphere of the area, slowing down the tragic and making the street quieter.
To beautify the downtown, matching funds were made available to all business owners to replace worn out facades, windows, and other exterior features to make their businesses more pleasing and inviting. Excitement was generated throughout town for the revamping of businesses downtown. Over 40 businesses took part in this project, doing everything from adding new signage to completely rebuilding their businesses. The local movie theatre added digital signs, replacing its old marquee, which previously had to be manually updated by the staff. Awnings were added to buildings, such as Hight’s Tavern, which created an inviting and unique appearance. Some businesses, such as Runza, have included apartments in the upper stories of the building. In total, 25 additional units of living were added. There was also a contest held where dual-purpose sculptures were created, also serving as bike racks. Around six were made, ranging from a water fountain, to coffee cups, to a box of fries.
The revitalization has been a great success for Scottsbluff, bringing new life to the downtown area. It now has a more lively appearance, and is more functional for everyone. The town will continue to make improvements to bring a higher standard of living to the community.