City now expected to pitch in stimulus money to help lure air service to Lincoln | Local Business News

“I am relieved and, of course, elated that (the mayor) chose to use (American Rescue Plan Act) money at the $1.5 million level … otherwise we would have pursued a resolution that I’m confident would have passed to encourage money to be found for this,” Ward said.

In August, the city and county made a joint announcement about how the city’s $46 million and the county’s $62 million in federal stimulus funds would be used.

As part of that, the city is managing three grant programs: $12 million in grants for workforce development programs to help workers hard hit by the pandemic; a $17 million grant program to bolster tourism-related businesses and attractions; and $7 million in grants for small businesses and another $3 million for yet-to-be determined business assistance. There are other funds, including a contingency fund, that city officials could consider.

Brinkman said the airport authority did not participate in the grant process, and the city needs to work through the administration of the grant programs so the mayor has all the information before her to make decisions about final allocations of the money.

If the mayor’s office allocates $1.5 million, it would mean the Lincoln Airport Authority will have $3 million at its disposal to use as minimum revenue guarantees — a risk-sharing incentive airports of Lincoln’s size routinely use to encourage airlines to start service.

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