The owners of Hilltop Drugs Etc. spoke Monday night in opposition of Shopko Hometown opening a store in Neligh.
Jami Schmidt and Koryn Koinzan told the Re-Development Authority of the City of Neligh that they were “blindsided” on Wednesday when a representative inquired about their “exit strategy and selling our business.”
Board secretary Ashley Krohn said it was important for people to realize Shopko sought out Neligh, not the other way around, and have stated they were unsure if they would have a pharmacy, should the project move forward.
Al Stelling, board member, said the first question the Neligh Economic Development board asked was if a pharmacy would be included. He said Shopko did not indicate a pharmacy would or would not be part of the project.
Vice chairman Ryan Koinzan, who is an owner in Hilltop Drugs Etc., said he “has no desire to offer Shopko TIF financing. That’s a deal breaker; it’s not worth having that conversation.”
Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek said the retailer was simply looking at Neligh at this time and is in the early stages. He said Shopko did inquire about tax increment financing, but Ptacek said it has not been discussed other than during that inquiry.
Ptacek said, according to the State Department of Economic Development, $34.5 million leaves Antelope County annually.
“That’s a lot of leaking,” Krohn said. “Even if a portion of that stayed, that would be good.”
Roy Urbanec, who owns Urbanec’s Furniture and Flooring, said not every Shopko has a pharmacy. He cited the Wayne store as not having a pharmacy.
However, Wayne's Shopko does have a pharmacy.