The Gering City Council Monday night approved $12,500 in economic development funds for the American Doorstop Project documentary, but not without a few questions from council members.
Council member Dan Smith asked whether city funding to assist with marketing the film was a proper use of LB 840 funds, with City Attorney Jim Ellison and City Administrator Lane Danielzuk both confirming it fell under allowable expenditures in the state statute.
Ben Backus was the lone member to vote against providing money, saying with only $140,000 currently in the fund, he questioned the timing of doing so. “I just think we need to build the LB 840 fund up more. We ran it down pretty low over the last couple of years, so I didn’t think a movie is the right thing right now”, said Backus. “Maybe down the road when there’s a little bit more money in there and we can take on other projects, like when the HVAC came in and our fund was kind of wiped out, I wouldn’t want that to happen again.”
Once completed, the documentary will highlight John Nerud and other Nebraskans’ impacts on the horse racing industry, and will be shown at a number of locations nationwide before ultimately screening at the Legacy of the Plains museum.
An exhibit on the life and work of Nerud is scheduled for a ribbon cutting at the museum next month.