Railside Receives Two Main Street Network Awards | Grand Island Local News

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Railside Business Improvement District received two awards from the Nebraska Main Street Award on Wednesday.

Elizabeth Chase, executive director of the Nebraska Main Street Network, visited Railside BID during their monthly meeting Wednesday morning.

She was joined by NMSN Board Chairman Jeff Ray.

Chase presented to the Railside BID board its 2022 Main Street America accreditation.

The National Main Street Center and the Nebraska Main Street Network “recognize our communities that meet national accreditation,” Chase explained.

Chase also noted the uniqueness of Railside being a BID while also being a main street program.

“(It’s) a big deal because it’s a limited group of communities across the country that do the things that you do,” she said. “Congratulations. You’re the one making this thing happen, not us.”

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RBID board member Jay Vavricek applauded the program.

“The Main Street program across Nebraska is important,” he said. “If (we) weren’t involved in it, it would show that we lack revitalization, but I think it’s also something that helps the whole state. It all adds up.”

Board Chairman Amos Anson said the support was greatly appreciated.

“We are working with the Legislative Assembly right now to try to get back to the full funding that we had about 10 years ago that was cut,” he said. “We have hobbled on a very limited budget and want to provide more resources to the community.”

Grand Island’s 40 North Tap & Grille received the Adaptive Reuse Project award, an honor shared this year by the Vintage Venue of Beatrice.

This is one of NMSN’s 2022 Inspirational Awards of Excellence “recognizing outstanding companies, individuals, projects and activities that contribute to the economic and social vibrancy of downtown business districts in communities of the whole state”.

“It’s a perfect example of the kinds of projects we love to see,” Chase said, “not just in this category, but also in what we love to see in the downtown neighborhoods themselves, taking this historic fabric and really improving it to make the neighborhood vibrant.”

Ray added that the project is not just an investment of financial resources.

“It’s also a resource of time, which is often about timing and making the right decisions to do it that way,” he said. “We really appreciate that and respect the integrity of this building.”

Anson praised Vavricek for the project.

“I don’t think a lot of people know the amount of resources needed for a project the size of Jay,” he said. “Thank you for investing in Downtown. It means a lot to us. It’s no small feat.”

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