Mayor Roger Steele is “very pleased” with JBS donation to fund city projects

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 8:14 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A week after JBS USA vowed to donate millions of dollars to Grand Island; the plant will now pay for two parks and recreation projects on the city’s bucket list.

“Those are two projects they’ve just kind of been on the wish-list, the list that we would like to accomplish,” said Director of Parks and Recreation, Todd McCoy. “We just quite haven’t had the funding in place. With JBS stepping up, we can knock those off the list.”

As part of their Hometown Strong Initiative to invest in their employees’ communities, JBS will donate one million dollars to extend a hike-bike trail, and build a new playground in the city. Officials said these two improvements will make Grand Island better.

“We are very pleased that they are being so generous to the city of Grand Island,” said Mayor Roger Steele.

The new playground will cost 350,000 dollars to complete. It will be built at the Veterans Complex Athletic Field right next to the splash pad. This project will help with over-crowding at the splash area, and add more entertainment.

“It will be a really nice complement to the splash pad, and the family atmosphere we’ve created here,” said McCoy.

The rest of the money will go towards extending the John Brownell Beltline Trail by one mile. Right now it spans 16 miles and abruptly ends at Cherry Street. This project will continue the trail east, all the way up to the JBS plant.

“We would extend it near Highway 30 and then go back to the Law Enforcement Center there, then we’ll go up to Stuhr Road and come out, right there by JBS.”

Approximately 3,600 people work at the plant. The trail extension will give employees an additional route to work.

“For some of those folks that are walking now to work or riding their bikes to work, now they’ll have a dedicated trail to get there,” said McCoy.

The city hopes to start the projects sometime next year. The city is still planning designs but as soon as they’re ready to break ground, both projects shouldn’t take longer than a year to complete.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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