- Associated Press - Saturday, April 15, 2017

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - The Grand Island City Council has hired a company to assist the city with deciding how to use land that will become available when the veterans home moves to another town.

The council unanimously voted Tuesday to approve a resolution to enter into a contract with Olsson Associates to review possible uses for the land, the Grand Island Independent (https://bit.ly/2ptdbea ) reported.

Jeff Palik of Olsson said the company intends to have multiple public meetings to gather input from Grand Island residents on the land’s new purpose. The public input phase is estimated to take six months.

“Ultimately they will come back with a design, and maybe a layout, of how the cemetery could be laid out there and have different uses for different parts of that facility,” City Administrator Marlan Ferguson said. “We will also look at transportation and how that may lay out in terms of streets and roads.”

Mayor Jeremy Jensen said he wanted to be “stern, but sensitive” in a request that public meetings held by Olsson not have a “circus atmosphere” that was seen in previous discussions of the issue.

“We are not going to fight the previous decision. We are not going to change the mind of the state of Nebraska,” Jensen said. “The veterans are moving to Kearney. We have to figure out a way to move forward.”

He said there are many residents who feel the land should be given back to the veterans and urges citizens to “trust that we are doing things the right way” by preserving the heritage of the Grand Island Veterans Home.


Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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