Council approves 3-year agreement for Archway funding

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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Kearney Archway will have continued monetary and managerial support from the city.

The city council voted on Tuesday for a two groups to give a combined $225,000 to the monument every year.

"The city council, we just felt whether people like the Archway or not, it does define our area and there are stories- countless stories- of visitors around the world that when they look up Kearney, they look up the archway," Kearney Mayor, Stan Clouse, said.

The monument, seen by 1.5 million visitors, will continue to get $75,000 annually from the city, which in return sees the community benefits.

"The Archway's gotten much more involved with the community for community events, which I believe was part of the strategy for the Archway board," City Manager, Michael Morgan, said.

The city council had already planned to give their monetary support to the Archway when it went through the budget process. Tuesday night's vote combines the agreement with the Kearney Area Visitor's Bureau, that the organization must continue to give $150,000 annually to the monument.

"The grounds are in great shape and we've got some new facilities out there with the shelter that'll be used, and of course, the trail connection will be a big positive," Morgan added.

He said in the past couple of years, the Archway's attendance has been near 53,000 paying visitors just over its annual goal of 52,500.

City officials are hopeful changes coming to the city will only help increase attendance.

"I think what you're seeing in that area with the cherry avenue expressway opening up, and obviously another interchange, I think that's helped," Clouse said. "And then with a lot of the other developments in that area, i think you're going to see some growth in that area."