Holdrege hears from locals on revitalization

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By Tim McNicholas

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Updated: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:10:35 CST

When you walk around Holdrege you see a nice variety of businesses.

But in certain areas you also see a lot of empty buildings.

"I'd like to see that downtown filled up,” resident Steve Center said. “And how that's going to happen I haven't a clue."

On Tuesday the locals spoke out on what they'd like to see change in their neighborhood.

"There's some gravel streets in that area that we could possibly pave,” Community Planner Bobbi Pettit said. “There's still some sidewalks that could be added."

Holdrege is a recent recipient of the Community Development Block Grant...

It's similar to the grant previously awarded to Hastings, but this one's for towns with 5 to 20 thousand people.

A Tuesday night meeting is one of the first steps to deciding what goes where and how.

Steve Center has lived in Holdrege for 26 years...

He loves the sense of community.

But that's not always enough.

Center says talk around town has gone every which way, but he knows one thing for sure.

"We should be able to do better,” Center said.  “Being sort of a hub with having the hospital and everything.'"

The town's strategy has to be complete by January 31st.

If the state Department of Economic Development approves it, Holdrege will be receiving some big grants for three consecutive years--at least 150 thousand dollars annually.

There are plenty of possibilities...

From storm water infrastructure to getting rid of old buildings.

Located just off Highway 34, there's no denying Holdrege's potential.

"We have some communities here that are really becoming major employment centers and Holdrege is one of those,” Pettit said.

The current blueprint will focus directly on just two parts of town.

But planners are hoping in the long run it will benefit all of the Holdrege.