BEATRICE – Over the next few years, up to 13 communities in Gage County will be getting help improving quality of life, by focusing on needed facilities. Part of that effort will be developing new leadership to see those efforts through.
Tuesday night was the kick-off to a Gage Area Growth Enterprises effort, working with the Heartland Center for Leadership Development, in Lincoln. That organization applied for and received a $100,000 USDA grant.
Heartland Senior Associate, Kurt Mantonya says priorities can be whatever a community sees can help its future.
This spring, Heartland will host several community meetings throughout Gage County, setting up task force groups to explore facility projects. Then, in the fall, the effort will focus on resources and planning for facilities.
Heartland Board President Craig Schroeder says communities can draw upon leadership from all ages.
:26 “in the future”
Schroeder says a major part of the effort is getting people to take on a leadership role in their communities.
:22 “one another”
Communities in Nebraska such as Ord and O’Neill have shown great success in growing leadership and tackling projects. In the case of O’Neill, the community has been working on the process for about ten years, now.
:29 “young families back”
Mantonya says the Heartland Center worked with Pilger, Nebraska as that community came back from a devastating tornado that destroyed much of the community’s core.
The town also saw new businesses open, an elevator put up new grain bins and a local bank rebuild their headquarters. Schroeder said even FEMA noted it was the quickest they had ever seen a community rebuild, following such as devastating storm. Pilger capitalized on a moniker of, “the town too tough to die”.