Urban Affairs

Economic development measure passed with Lincoln water funding

A bill meant to spur economic development across the state received final approval from the Legislature June 1.

Sen. Terrell McKinney
Sen. Terrell McKinney

LB531, introduced by Sen. Terrell McKinney of Omaha, creates and outlines administration of the North and South Omaha Grant Program. The bill also includes $11 million for projects in western Nebraska, including adding site acquisition, preparation and rail spur construction within 30 miles of the state’s largest reservoir as a qualified use of an iHub grant.

The measure was amended to include provisions from almost a dozen additional bills, including Lincoln Sen. Eliot Bostar’s LB506, which authorizes a $180 million grant to a primary class city to fund costs associated with potable water. Lincoln currently is Nebraska’s only primary class city.

Also included is LB45, introduced by Adams Sen. Myron Dorn, which creates the Revitalize Rural Nebraska Grant Fund for first and second class cities and villages and provides $1 million in general funds for grants to demolish dilapidated commercial property.

The provisions of LB98, introduced by North Platte Sen. Mike Jacobson, make changes to “micro” tax-increment financing projects by allowing limits on the number of expedited reviews of redevelopment plans, denial of redevelopment plans and an optional resolution before an area is declared substandard and blighted.

LB531 passed on a vote of 37-8 and takes effect immediately.

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