Nebraska Legislature approves funding for Fonner Park


HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – The Nebraska state legislature on Friday approved a bill that would designate $20 million for infrastructure projects in Fonner Park. The 40 to 4 vote means the bill is now going to Governor Pete Ricketts’ office for consideration.

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

LR-1014 was the appropriations bill for funds available to Nebraska under the US federal bailout law. Over $1 billion in total funding has been allocated in LR1014. The bill includes $20 million in ARPA funding for infrastructure projects at Fonner Park, home of the Nebraska State Fair, on Grand Island.

“There are quite a few big ideas that have surfaced for the Fonner Park campus that will require significantly more funding,” said Chris Kotulak, chief executive of Fonner Park. “But without the aid to surface infrastructure, it would have been hard to imagine anything taking off. I am grateful to Governor Ricketts for understanding the importance of this endeavor which has been led and guided by the 1868 Foundation.”

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

“These funds will make possible a better future for Fonner Park and all of its users and guests,” said Bill Ogg, executive director of the Nebraska State Fair. “Growth and expansion of facilities could not occur without improving and repairing infrastructure. Today’s vote facilitates meaningful progress for an exciting future.

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