North Platte City Council approves land sales for Sustainable Beef, bedroom housing project | Latest titles
Two municipal land sales for North Platte economic projects were approved by city council on Tuesday, though one caused drama over its timing.
The absence of Councilman Jim Carman threatened to leave council with a “yes” vote before immediately passing an ordinance selling land on the north side for a 51-lot “ready to shovel” housing project.
The order for that sale was approved 5-2 after Councilman Mark Woods, one of his two opponents, voted to waive the usual requirement of three rounds of “yes” votes on the orders.
After the waiver motion was won on a 6-1 count — such motions require six votes in favor — Woods joined Councilwoman Donna Tryon in voting against the sale of the 13.2 acres at West 17th Street and Adams Avenue for $120,250 to the North Platte Area Chamber & Development Corp. .
The evening’s other land sale was approved, with council voting 7-0 to turn over the city’s former sewer lagoon to the city’s Community Redevelopment Authority for the Sustainable Beef LLC plant.
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An identical 7-0 vote waived the three-reading rule on the necessary ordinance. The ARC will pay $142,500 to the city, then recover that amount from Sustainable Beef once its organizers demonstrate that they have completed funding for the $325 million project.
Council members had approved a redevelopment plan for the chamber housing project on June 7 and an accompanying rezoning ordinance in a trio of votes ending July 5. Tryon and Woods constantly opposed it.
When the housing plan sale order was released Tuesday night, Tryon wondered if a private person would have the option of buying the land from the city as in-town acreage.
“I guess what I mean is if anyone wanted to have a little piece of country in the city, this would be the perfect place to do it,” the Ward 1 councilwoman said.
“If they were to buy it, would they have to develop it into 51 lots, or could they build their castle there?”
“We are unlikely to sell it for anything other than this project,” Mayor Brandon Kelliher responded.
House Speaker and CEO Gary Person said Tuesday’s order triggers public notices each of the next three weeks. A 30-day waiting period begins after that before the sale can be completed, he said.
He asked council to expedite passage of the ordinance rather than add a month to an already tight deadline to install water service before winter for the first eight lots fronting Adams.
“If you don’t give up on the readings, that kicks in at the end of October or early November for things to start,” Person said. “The need (for housing) is beyond desperate at this point.”
The chamber plans to install streets and utilities in the housing estate and then sell lots to individual developers. Last month, the board approved $1.87 million in tax increase funding to help the chamber gradually cover its infrastructure costs.
Councilman Pete Volz was among the members who urged quick action so the chamber could begin.
“We feel the need for good jobs in this community (and) good-paying jobs” like those that Sustainable Beef and the proposed Hershey Railroad Fleet would provide, he said.
“It goes hand in hand. You can’t do one without the other. »
“Not everyone who works in North Platte lives in North Platte because our cost of living is higher, especially rent,” she said.
“And I don’t expect 800 people to live here in the next two years,” referring to Sustainable Beef’s forecast of 875 new full-time jobs.
But the way for the sale order was cleared when Woods said he would vote “against what I feel” and allow final passage on Tuesday.
“I have, I would say, a distaste for this project with what’s going on,” he told his fellow board members. “But it will pass, and they will be built.”
If he didn’t vote to waive the three ordinance readings, “that seems a bit mean,” Woods added.
In other cases counsel:
Voted 7-0 to let the city’s sanitation department start selling “pickup tags” Oct. 1 to attach to appliances and other large items they want trash crews to pick up for them.
City workers picked up those items when they could rather than letting them pile up, said acting city administrator Layne Groseth, full-time director of public works.
But the city has seen bulky and non-bulky waste left outside receptacles for the past 18 months, he told the council.
“When I took the civil service job, I didn’t want bric-a-brac all over town,” Groseth said.
The 4-inch-by-6-inch labels will cost $30 each for refrigerated appliances and $10 each for other miscellaneous and bulky items. They will be available for purchase at Municipal Light & Water.
People can also pay for additional city garbage carts or use the free “cleaning card” they are entitled to as city sanitation customers, Groseth said.
Agreed to sell temporary easements and permanent rights-of-way to the Nebraska Department of Transportation for access and additional city-owned land for next year’s state-led reconstruction of South Jeffers Street (US Highway 83 southbound) between First and Leota streets.
Most of the land affected is at or near the city’s public safety building, City Engineer Brent Burklund said. NDOT will pay the city $11,000.
Tuesday’s vote does not cover state agency plans to rebuild South Dewey Street (northern lanes of US 83) starting in 2026, Burklund said.