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SATURDAY SALUTE: Beautifying our home one business at a time

SATURDAY SALUTE: Beautifying our home one business at a time

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A hearty Saturday Salute goes this week to 40 North Tap & Grille in Grand Island and The Gathering Place Senior Center in Cairo, winners of this year’s community beautification awards from the Regional Planning Commission.

The award has been given to one Grand Island business and one Hall County business since the mid-1970s. Nominations come from the public and each recipient is given a plaque in recognition of the difference its efforts have made in the community.

More than eight individuals nominated 40 North, a new restaurant in Grand Island’s Railside district.

“We wanted to try to create a destination, but also revitalization we think is important for downtown,” owner Jay Vavrick said. “It creates more vitality for the western portion because it is a great district.”

The Gathering Place was recognized for improvements that have been made to the outside of its building with landscaping, lighting and benches.

Marvin Roth, Senior Center council president, told commissioners the award is appreciated.

“We just tried to improve the front of it,” Roth said. “We tried to get the stigma away from the senior center so everybody could come and have coffee there in the morning.”

These are examples of what’s being done to revitalize and beautify the business communities in Grand Island and other Hall County communities.

Old Potash Highway project ahead of schedule

We also salute the city of Grand Island and general contractor, Starostka Group Unlimited, for how quickly the first phase of a huge project involving Old Potash Highway, Claude Road and Faidley Avenue is being completed.

Old Potash is expected to reopen around Thanksgiving. The highway is being rehabilitated from North Road to Webb Road to increase its capacity and will include a new roundabout.

Grand Island Public Works Director John Collins attributes the speedy completion to Starostka Group.

“The contractor decided to tackle two roundabouts at once instead of building them one at a time, as anticipated,” he said. “If he completes it and it looks pretty good, then we’ll save up to six months.”

A roundabout at Faidley Avenue and Claude Road is nearly completed. Work continues on the new roundabout at Old Potash.

The rehabilitation addresses traffic safety concerns in the area and also will help with the flow of traffic.

The project also will extend the water detention cell from Claude to Faidley to improve drainage in the area.

This is an important improvement for the city’s infrastructure in that area. Road closures have been difficult for people who live and work in that area, but it will be great when it is completed and we can all learn how to traverse the roundabouts.

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