A building on Main Street in Neligh won't sit empty long thanks to a combined effort between Seth and Shelby Snodgrass and the City of Neligh.
The couple, who live near Royal, were given the green light Thursday afternoon by the Neligh City Council to turn 406 Main (formerly Main Street Mall) into a new fitness center called 719 Fitness. Besides free weights and machines, 719 Fitness will also offer massage therapy and a shake bar for quick, nutritious meals for the public.
"We're pretty excited. There's not another fitness center in the area, so I think it's a great opportunity, to help other people," said Seth Snodgrass, a 2006 graduate of Neligh-Oakdale. "It's a passion for me and my wife. We're hoping to make people realize how important health is. We want to show them a better way to life (weights) properly and a better way of eating."
Shelby Snodgrass, who is a personal trainer, said, "It's been a long process, but we're very excited to get started and bring it to Neligh in a few months."
A Thursday's special meeting, the City Council unanimously approved a $30,000 LB 840 loan for the project. They agreed to a 15-year term with a 2.5 percent fixed interest compounded annually, making their payments about $200 a month.
Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek said First National Bank will finance the project, which has a total cost of $142,678. The City of Neligh will have the second lien.
Council members asked several questions before approving the loan, which is just the second LB 840 loan from the City of Neligh. The first was approved 16 months ago to Pitzer Digital.
Ted Hughes asked how much the Snodgrasses have to put down for the loan, which is 10 percent. "Ok," he said. "Just want to make sure they have some skin in the game."
Leonard Miller asked about the terms while Steph Wanek asked about what will be offered at the new fitness center.
"We'll also have the protein shakes, which is really cool because you can make them according to your goals," Shelby Snodgrass said. "You can make it high protein if you wan to add muscle or low calorie if you want to lose weight."
While the fitness center will have membership, possibly with a 24-hour access card, Snodgrass said a membership will not be required for their shake bar. She said there will be a lounge area near the front desk
"What's really cool about the shakes is that they're really delicious. They taste like you're drinking a milk shake, but they're really healthy for you," she said.
Wanek made the motion to approve the loan, seconded by Miller. It was approved 3-0. Dale Wilkinson was absent due to a recent surgery.
"This is a great addition to Neligh," Wanek said.
719 Fitness plans to open in the fall, after a major remodel project. Their hours will be 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Neligh's LB 840 account currently has a balance of $146,128. Ptacek said his office is currently working with other individuals hoping to use the economic development funds for a new business in Neligh.