Nebraska Legislature approves funding for Fonner Park

Fonner Park
Fonner Park(Hailey Mach, KSNB)
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 9:52 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) -The Nebraska State Legislature approved a bill on Friday that would would designate $20 million for infrastructure projects at Fonner Park. The 40-4 vote means the bill now goes forward to Governor Pete Ricketts’ desk for consideration.

“We are grateful for today’s vote and the support and passion of our legislative leaders, local office holders, and community stakeholders who helped us reach this point,” said Lindsey Koepke, Executive Director of the 1868 Foundation. “These funds will help significantly improve the Fonner Park campus for all users.”

LR-1014 was the appropriations bill for monies available to Nebraska provided under the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Over $1 billion in total funding was allotted in LR1014. The bill includes $20 million in ARPA funding for infrastructure projects at Fonner Park, home of the Nebraska State Fair, in Grand Island.

“There are quite a few big ideas that have surfaced for the Fonner Park campus that will take much bigger funding,” said Chris Kotulak, Fonner Park Chief Executive Officer. “But without the surface infrastructure aid it would have been hard to imagine anything getting off the ground. I am grateful that Governor Ricketts has embraced the importance of this endeavor that was spearheaded and guided by the 1868 Foundation.”

The 1868 Foundation has served as sponsor acting on behalf of entities that utilize and support the Fonner Park campus.

“These funds will make a greater future possible for Fonner Park and all its users and guests,” said Bill Ogg, Executive Director of the Nebraska State Fair. “Growth and expansion of the facilities could not happen without infrastructure improvements and repairs. Today’s vote facilitates significant progress for an exciting future.”

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