The steering committee for a $750,000 grant targeting improvements in the Kearney Hill and North Table Creek areas of eastern Nebraska City met Thursday to consider a neighborhood survey.
Dan Giittinger, public properties director, said the committee began work on a questionnaire that will be mailed to residents in the target area.
Residents will be asked to share their wish list for the federal grant, which may provide up to $250,000 in each of three years.
The committee worked from a list of hundreds of potential questions in five categories and plan to have them pared to fit on two sheets by the next meeting.
Jennifer Olds, development specialist with Southeast Nebraska Development District, said the grants can be used for a variety of public improvements including housing, utilities and parks.
“We will ask the targeted neighborhoods to fill out the surveys in order to gauge citizen interest and opinions about community needs, such as the areas of housing, infrastructure and recreation,” she said.
After the surveys are returned, a comprehensive investment and stabilization program will be developed.
She said features such as streets, sidewalks, trails, park equipment are considered for study based on the needs assessment.
“We are asking citizens to tell us what they want for their neighborhood,” she said.
Olds expects neighborhood meetings to follow to discuss the results of the surveys and set goals.
She said the top three needs identified in the survey will likely be discussed.
The investment and stabilization program will then be presented to “key stakeholders” in the community, Olds said, to decide which projects to pursue and how they can be implemented.
The needs assessment is scheduled for completion in February and the application for grant funding is due in May.
A construction project could start as soon as the summer of 2014.
Members of the steering committee are Giittinger, Stephanie Shrader, Tim Pendrell, Alan Viox, Joe Johnson, Jim Stark, Leroy Frana, Tracy Wieckhorst, Dean Handy and Fr. Mark Cyza.
The grant area includes Kearney Hill, as well as 45 city blocks from First Corso north to Fifth Avenue on the eastern end of town. It also includes 13 blocks south of Fourth Corso and east of Ninth Street.