Whats Next For Hall County
(Listen to this feature in it's entirty below)
(Grand Island, NE) - Monday morning a flyover..over CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island to salute those on the front lines in our healthcare system, a healthcare system that with collaboration with other hospitals and an extremely dedicated staff of heroes were not overwhelmed by the coronavirus.
The data coming back from the Central District Health Department in GI is also showing positive signs, signs all pointing to one thing.
We are past the peak of this virus.
But instead of a sigh of relief, it’s more concern, and more questions for local businesses in Grand Island who watch other parts of the state slowly open, while our community sits on the sidelines.
Local business owner Casey Williams is in the tourism industry, a hotel owner with the Travel Lodge here in GI, who has seen bookings and stays simply come to a halt as more and more events preemptively call things off.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has said consistently, that the original goal of the DHM's and social distancing practices were to not overwhelm the healthcare system.
“That’s what we’ve done very successfully, at no point was our health care system in danger of being overwhelmed.”
So mission accomplished? Will we see a relaxation on the directed health mandates and social distancing restrictions?
The Governor has taken a more cautious approach.
The frustration that many Nebraskan’s are feeling isn’t due to the boredom of social distancing, it’s the uncertainty and the lack of a gameplan for the business community to move forward.
A popular hashtag on social media is “win back GI”, it could be argued we never lost it, but while we wait, the question remains...what will we come back to?
Covid-19 Update - City Hall/Grand Island
Notes from Mayor Roger Steele
Grand Island is projected to have a 12% decrease in sales tax revenue. That loss will be a loss of $1.5 million dollars to the general governmental fund for the fiscal year ending on September 30th.Overall the city is projecting a 5.6% decrease in all revenues for the general fund which equates to $2.2 million dollars.
Food and beverage tax collections were down for the month of April, that’s based on March sales, by 24% ($50,000) as compared to the same month last year. The city expects to have the food and beverage receipts to be significantly reduced for the rest of the fiscal year ending September 30th.
With an estimated loss of revenue of $437,000. Keno proceeds for the month of April are down 42%.
Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele spoke to Gov. Ricketts last Friday. Ricketts told him that he does not believe GI will be able to have gatherings of people until August, if even then. Referring to crowds where social distancing will not occur.
Opening of the water park (Island Oasis) and Lincoln Pool will probably not be happening given the expense and uncertainty of when it will be allowed for people to gather in close proximity.