Four public hearings aimed at spending $355 million to transform Omaha’s inner city and other economically struggling parts of Nebraska are in the books.

The Economic Recovery Act passed the Legislature 45-to-one but some argue the hard part is just beginning.

For years, and years, folks in North Omaha have insisted that when it comes ending decades of poverty, money from the state is hard if not impossible to come by.

Now both North and South Omaha are at the front of the line to get their hands on that $355 million.

Those after the massive handout, largely targeting those hard-hit by the pandemic, range from big operations to those not as big.

Kenny McMorris, Charles Drew Health Center: We have a tremendous opportunity here to swing for the fences and what we're proposing is a project between $20 and $25 million to expand health access, health equity and workforce.

Marcey Yates, Culxr House: And we'll be seeking funds to purchase the two properties that we currently lease right now. One we are operating out of and the other we have plans to develop a pizza shop. We're looking for $850,000 to a million.

Those $355 million were approved by the Legislature and signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Pete Ricketts; $250 million comes from the federal government’s Covid cash pile, officially known as the American Rescue Plan. The remaining $85 million is from the state.

The next key step comes in December when specific projects are given the initial go-ahead before the Legislature gives final approval next year.