VALENTINE, Neb. -- After years of discussions about building a convention center in Valentine, Cherry County commissioners signed an inter-local agreement with Mid-Plains Community College on Tuesday. The agreement forms a partnership between the county and the college to build a center near Mid-Plains.

“We want to make sure people know that no property taxes or bond will ever be levied because of this project,” Commissioner Mike McConaughey said.

The agreement stipulates that the county will pay $250,000 by September for design work. After that, commissioners agreed to pay $250,000 every quarter throughout the building project, with a maximum contribution of $1.5 million.

Mid-Plains Community College will also contribute funds, alongside grants and fundraising efforts. The college also agrees to maintain the facility.

“We currently have $1.5 million for the project sitting in a promotional fund,” said Regina Osburn, Cherry County Tourism Director.

Osburn noted that several recent events, such as a taxidermy gathering, couldn’t be held in Valentine due to a lack of suitable space. Project managers estimate it will take four to six months to finalize the design, followed by nine months to a year of construction.

“We’re also not closing the door on other projects during that time, such as at the fairgrounds,” Commissioner Martin DeNaeyer said. “Hopefully this new center will bring in more money to be able to fund other projects.”