In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner said, “If you build it, he will come.” He may have been talking about a baseball field, but the logic holds for NPPD’s reason behind its Site Ready Assistance Program. By helping in site preparation, communities will be ready for new business and growth.
The program, created by the Economic Development Team, gives financial aid to NPPD communities who apply and meet specific selection criteria revolving around site characteristics, utilities, transportation and labor force.
NPPD Economist Brian Williams described the importance of the program, “Many prospects who are interested in relocating or expanding want to be able to do so quickly. It is a highly competitive environment out there, so it is becoming increasingly important for our communities to have shovel-ready sites. We hope that the Site Ready Assistance Program will help to give customers the boost they need to have an attractive site that is ready for development.”
This year, six groups/areas will receive funds totaling $57,520. Applications were due April 10th, and in May the 2020 recipients were announced: City of Hartington, North Platte Area Chamber & Development Corporation, Southern Public Power District, Wood River Area Economic & Housing Development Corporation and two sites, Seward and rural Milford, for Seward County Chamber & Development Partnership.
The largest beneficiary was the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation. Developing a Rail Park in the North Platte area has been contemplated for decades. Recent developments have made the goal more of a reality, and North Platte requested the funds for further master planning and site analysis.
“It is going to be a very significant project for North Platte/Lincoln County. We have long aspired to have a Rail Park … We have now overcome some barriers and targeted a site,” said Gary Person, President and CEO of the North Platte Area Chamber & Development Corporation. “With the completion of this project, we will be able to offer rail to potential clients. NPPD has been a partner for quite some time to get this accomplished, and we appreciate that NPPD is always a great Economic Development partner.”
Sam Reinke with Southern Public Power District was excited to see that the District was awarded a grant from the Site Readiness Program. “It is greatly appreciated and makes it feasible for us to do the project. Being able to complete due diligence items will make the property more presentable to buyers.”
The goal for all these sites is to become shovel-ready for business. Once that happens, they will become Featured Properties on NPPD’s Location One Information System (LOIS) site.
Being ready for business takes steps, and NPPD welcomes the opportunity to prepare these sites for business and Nebraska for employment.