NEBRASKA CITY - St. Benedict's Church and Father Ryan Kaup hosted Nebraska City residents for tacos and a conversation regarding the revitalization of the Kearney Hill neighborhood.

The event was originally slated to be held outside at Kearney Hill Park, but poor weather forced the festivities indoors in the basement of the church. Free-will donations were accepted and attendees were encouraged to fill out a form that ranked the importance of seven different developmental areas with one being viewed as the most important. 

The seven choices were improved roads, abandoned houses, promoting historical value, property cleanup, improvement of lighting, street signs and sidewalks, improving the Kearney Hill Park parking lot and playground and the construction of a splash pad at Kearney Hill Park.

There was an additional box titled "other" allowing residents to add something not on the list. The idea is to take the feedback from the community and then create a plan to address the areas of concern.

Father Kaup said the idea of revitalizing Kearney Hill was in part to the "desire to come together as neighbors and be able to talk about the dreams and goals of the neighborhood" and to "improve this historic part of Nebraska City." Kaup is hoping to rejuvenate the area with the community expressing its needs and wants to further the discussion.

Kaup: "What do we want from our community? The goal is to be able to come together to help achieve something great and to really revitalize this part of town that is sometimes forgotten about. But we are proud to live here and it's a beautiful thing."

Kaup says he and others involved are still identifying specific goals for the project.

Kaup: "We are starting small, just cleaning up litter and things that are very simple."

Eventually, once there is more of consensus of how to move forward, Kaup says the larger projects will follow. 

Kaup: "We start with these little things, but hope to do some big projects as well as people get more excited and share their dreams for their neighborhood."