ACE (Public Alliance for Community Energy) presented 2021 Project of the Year awards to two of its member communities at its Board of Directors meeting March 4.
Through its revenue return program, ACE returns funds to its 75 Nebraska member communities. These funds are used by each community for various community betterment projects. Earlier this year, ACE returned $400,000 to its Nebraska member communities. Since forming in 1998, ACE has returned more than $3.2 million to its Nebraska member communities.
Communities submitted project nominations and winners were determined through voting on ACE’s social media channels. The awards were presented in two community population categories: Under 1,000 and more than 1,000. The following projects were awarded a plaque and $200 to be used toward future community betterment projects. The awards were:
- Franklin, Neb., Ball Park Renovations Project (pop. less than 1,000) – The City used its ACE funds from the previous two years for renovations to its local ball park, which had not had any upgrades for more than 40 years. Renovations included new red dirt, sprinklers, and turf. The backstop fencing was also replaced at both fields and a new batting cage was added. The community is hoping to use and enjoy the new upgraded facility in 2021 and beyond.
- Alliance, Neb., Rolling Prairie Disc Golf Course Expansion Project (pop. more than 1,000) – The City used $12,000 of its ACE funds to help fund an expansion of its Rolling Prairie Disc Golf Course. The community-supported project included expanding the nine-hole disc golf course into an 18-hole course in an area surrounding Laing Lake. The area is used to host events and activities as well as for regular local play. The City attempts to use ACE funds to enhance highly visible recreational areas in the City with an emphasis on youth activities.
Nebraska communities formed ACE for the primary purpose of providing competitively priced natural gas while retaining local control and keeping more revenue in Nebraska’s ACE member communities. The Nebraska Choice Gas program 2021 selection period is set for March 18-April 22.