Each quarter, EDGE Executive Director Beckie Cromer provides a detailed report to members of the City Council and Richardson County Commissioners. The most recent report, presented to the council Oct. 21 and the next day to the county board, was encouraging on several fronts.
Mrs. Cromer said several industries, including Herzog, Airlanco and WASP are looking to hire. Welders seem to be an area of special need. Airlanco, she said, has met the new employee threshold (15) as spelled out in their memorandum of understanding (relating to the Products Unlimited building). Should those positions be retained for 36 months, a full loan forgiveness of $215,000 would be granted.
CGB is up and running and very busy, Mrs. Cromer reported. The new grain handling facility employs 11 workers full-time, including three who are new to the Falls City area. The facility is operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and “business is going great.” She noted that CGB has surpassed its employment goals.
At Vantec, current customers, including Bunn and Kawasaki, continue to add new part business.
Mrs. Cromer said EDGE continues to work with clients that may be interested in locating in the Falls City area.
Falls City Homefront, LLC, is in the final design stages for two Summerfield homes to be delivered in early 2014 and located on West 31st Street. Mrs. Cromer said EDGE is working with the City on infrastructure improvements as the project moves into its final stages. The homes are now for sale. Contact EDGE for information.
Mrs. Cromer also introduced a request to extend the loan of $40,700 for Dream Weaver Hotel for 18 months. The request was unanimously approved. Mitch Glaeser, Dream Weaver owner, has met the obligations under the loan, and by the extension, Mrs. Cromer said even more improvements and investment will be encouraged, not just at the hotel but also at other downtown businesses in Dream Weaver’s ownership.
The EDGE board endorsed a loan extension. The loan would be forgiven if the proposed improvements are completed. Mrs. Cromer said Glaeser will more than match the loan amount in his considerable investments in Falls City.
Included in anticipated improvements are new windows at the former Richardson County Bank building, a new storefront window at Kostantino’s, awnings, and the installation of a new, level floor in the Rivoli building. The total investment by Glaeser is estimated at $109,800.
A request from Tri State Truck and Tractor for use of a small portion of city property to construct an access road from Highway 73 to their facility was moved from the table. The road would be concrete to the State right of way, then likely of either rock or gravel. Concerns were raised about dust and its affect on the Aquatic Park, which is adjacent (north) of Tri State. But the council voted 6-1 to approve the Tri State request (this applies only to the use of limited city property and the city’s recommendation to the state to allow right of way).
In other developments, the council:
—Approved requests to block off various streets for the Spooks on the Square Halloween event, Veterans Day parade and Jingle Bell Ride, as well as parking stalls in front of F&M Bank for sleigh rides for the Nov. 20 Christmas window opening.
—Approved contractual elements so that the city and SENDD can move forward with a $310,000 homeowner occupied rehab grant, as recommended by SENDD and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
—Endorsed requests for special liquor license requests for upcoming events at Prichard Auditorium and the Grand Weaver Hotel.
—Approved a request regarding the installation of a 6’x6’ concrete slab on the northeast corner of the library property so that sculptures on loan can be displayed. (See Lori Gottula’s story in today’s paper for details.)
—Moved into executive session to discuss litigation.