The Omaha City Council met Tuesday, Nov. 8, to approve funding for improvements to Clarkson Park at 124 North 42nd Street. Dostals Construction will be awarded $124,800 to replace the playground surface at the park.

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The city earmarked $10 million of its COVID relief fund allocations to improve public spaces. Omaha Parks and Recreation Director Matt Kalcevich said Clarkson Park is the first of nine parks and three public spaces planned for those improvements. He said it was chosen first because there was clear feedback from neighbors.

“This park in particular is in a spot that’s used by quite a few residents in that area…even if they aren’t necessarily residents,” Kalcevich said. “So again, something we thought really hit the mark.”

Kalcevich said funding requests for the rest of the planned projects could be brought before the City Council in coming months. He said the department hopes that all projects will be completed by the end of 2025.

The City Council also approved $250,000 to the Omaha Equestrian Foundation to promote the 2023 FEI World Cup Finals. Omaha was chosen to host the international equestrian competition in April.

Julie Boilesen, CEO of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, said the event will have a big economic impact for the city, especially for hotels. She said 70% of ticket holders came from outside the Omaha area when the city hosted the event in 2017. Boilesen expected the 2023 event to exceed the $2.1 million in ticket sales it collected in 2017.

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