Senator Mike Jacobson submits LB281 to rebuild Camp 4-H in Halsey.
NORTH PLATTE, Nebraska (Nebraska) – 64-year-old Camp 4-H was destroyed after a fire in Halsey National Forest in October 2022. One senator is trying to pass a bill to allocate funds for his restoration.
On Wednesday afternoon, Senator Mike Jacobson introduced LB281, his eighth bill in Nebraska’s 2023 legislative session, which would provide grants to nonprofits trying to build or renovate existing outdoor youth learning facilities.
The bill provides for a one-time transfer of $50 million from the state’s general fund to the Department of Economic Development. Applicants will be required to meet 25 percent of their financial request, and no applicant will receive more than $30 million.
Jacobson said that other NGOs could use the funding, but felt the 4-H camp needed the money the most.
“Nebraska Sandhills is a world class place,” Jacobson said. “We need to simultaneously invest in them, preserve them and test them.”
Some witnesses in support of the bill said they went to the same 4-H camp that burned to the ground and want to give today’s youth the same opportunity.
Proponents estimate that the cost required to rebuild Camp 4-H and upgrade its facilities will be about $37 million. Sandhills has an annual tourism revenue of around $4 million and a payback period of almost nine years.
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