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Kearney Place to Play hosts town hall on new sports complex

Sports Complex on West Talmadge Road.
Sports Complex on West Talmadge Road.(Diamond Nunnally (KSNB))
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 10:47 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - A new sports complex is in the works in Kearney but in order for the city to move forward they need approval from residents.

To help rally the support of the community, the Place to Play committee hosted a town hall on Monday at the Harmon Park Activity Center. They talked about how the sports complex is being funded, why it’s needed and how it helps.

The 215,000 square-foot sports complex is expected to be built on the other side of the river next to the Fairfield Inn and Suites on West Talmadge Road. It will have multiple courts and fields for people to use at their discretion because right now the city is running out of room.

The project is expected to cost anywhere between $29 to $34 million but half of that, at about $17 million, is already being funded by the state through the LB 39 bill. The city wouldn’t have been able to get the funding if it wasn’t for the new Crowne Plaza being built next door.

“They want to build businesses that can support that, so if you can show that you’re building businesses around a sports complex, you can qualify for LB 39 which would cover up to 50% of the cost of the facility,” said Place to Play Committee President John Garner.

Now all that’s left for the city to do is find the rest of the funding for the project and they’ve already got a solution in mind. They want to use the funds from the food and beverage tax but need the approval of residents to do it.

”Guys it’s one penny on every dollar. It’s 1%. It’s a dollar out of every hundred if you’re eating out,” Garner said.

On November 22, ballots will be mailed out to registered voters to decide on whether to use the food and beverage tax. Garner said it needs to be turned in to the Election Commissioners office by December 14 in order to count. If people don’t get it mailed in within seven days, he suggests dropping it off in-person.

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