By Logan Lawson
The Re-Development Authority of the City of Neligh held their regular June meeting Monday at the Economic Development/Chamber of Commerce office. Among the topics discussed at the meeting were two applications for tax increment financing assistance.
One application, from the Neligh Independent Living, was for $335,000 in TIF assistance to build a new $1,753,225 independent living complex. The proposed project is a 12 unit complex south of Willow's Assisted Living. The complex would be handicap accessible and would include a community room and storm cellar. The funds would be used to assist in public improvements and site preparation for the complex. The board voted to move forward with the preparation of documents for the application and a public hearing has been set for the board's next regular meeting on July 11.
Another application from Bethann and Joe Funk was discussed. The application was for approximately $47,000 in TIF assistance to help build a $292,000 personal residence and for site preparation for a duplex. The funds were to be used to help with public improvements, building relocation and site preparation. A public hearing for this application was also set for July 11.
Other items discussed at the meeting included discussion on how the board will handle conflict of interest issues in the future as well as discussion on the use of TIF financing for single-family housing. After some discussion, a motion was passed to adjust the board's guidelines to state that an application must be for "two or more units" to meet the board's requirements.
The meeting of the CRA was adjourned and the Neligh Economic Development Board meeting promptly began. Items discussed included an application from Sarah Ahlers to request LB840 assistance in purchasing 315 Main Street in Neligh in order to open a children's gently used clothing store called Peas and Carrots. The funds would be used to help with the costs of purchasing the building, inventory and start up costs. The application is set to go directly to the city council.
There was also discussion regarding a recommendation to apply for the USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program. Greg Ptacek agreed to do additional research on the program. Ptacek also spoke to the board about his attendance at the Oklahoma University's Economic Development Institute. He was able to attend thanks to available grants from the community catalyst program by the Sherwood Foundation and noted that many of the representatives from large communities were impressed with the programs that Neligh provides.
One of the final topics discussed was the recent Facade Party that was held on June 7. Ptacek noted that it was a great success, with approximately 20 businesses filling out forms of interest in the downtown revitalization project. He also noted that the state sent two representatives to research a potential designation of downtown Neligh as a historic district.