The North Bend Eagle

 

City considers economic development

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/29/22

The North Bend City Council is considering enacting a program to help spur economic development allowed by the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, more commonly known as LB 840.

Jason Saalfeld and Nathan Arneal, representing the North Bend Economic Development committee of the Chamber of Commerce, attended the June 21 council meeting to suggest the council look at LB 840.

The program would direct of portion of the city’s existing 1.5% sales tax to economic development uses. The money could go toward preparing infrastructure for a housing development or assisting businesses in growing their business or improving their building. Some of the funds could also go toward paying the salary of a full-time grant writer, Arneal said, which could help the program pay for itself.

The city council would have final say on how the funds are used. A public vote would have to approve the city’s LB840 plan.

“We realize money and budgets are tight,” Arneal said. “But we think that’s a reason to enact LB 840, not avoid it. It’s not about slicing the apple into smaller slices, it’s about growing the apple.”

City clerk Theresa Busse said directing some of the sales tax to LB840 will limit the city on some of the other projects it can do.

With mayor Rod Scott and councilman Ken Streff absent, no action was taken. The council said it would check with the city attorney and accountant to see what its next steps should be.

Also, Chuck Krenzer was appointed to the planning commission, replacing Eric Byrd.

 

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