BEATRICE – A new loan from a downtown redevelopment grant has gained approval of the Beatrice City Council. The loan totaling $17,000 is going to Colleen and John Schoneweis, operating the Vintage Venue at 7th and Court Streets. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says the funding will help the event center utilize an additional floor.

"They are looking to use that money to install a fire escape...from the second floor of their building down to the main level. That will allow them to have access and use the upper level for further events and venue options."

The state grant, totaling about $435,000…has allowed the city to loan funds to business applicants to assist them in making improvements to their building fronts, foundations or infrastructure. The loans can be forgiven if the improvements stay in place at least five years.

In an update of projects, Tempelmeyer says Pavers Inc. has completed resurfacing work in the city, which included a part of Prairie Avenue, an alley near the old Beatrice Community Hospital site and a hard-surface extension on a portion of Sargent Street. There’s also some work that’s been going on at the Gage County Foundation Depot…the trailhead along South 6th.

"We're putting in irrigation at this point. We are raising some grant funding to finish out the parking lot area and include the storm water retention area there. We should hear shortly from the grants we have written that are out there."

Monday night, the city council approved the date of August 16th for the Beatrice Humane Society Doggie Swim evening at the Big Blue Aquatic Park….a season ending fundraiser for the society where dog owners can bring their pets to the pool for an admission charge that helps benefit the organization.