MAY 12, 2015 (LINCOLN, NEB.)—Superior, Neb. (pop. 1,918) has earned designation in the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Certified Leadership Community Program. It is the sixth community to earn certification, joining Tecumseh, Madison, Central City, Neligh and Cambridge.
“‘As an industrial town, we are well aware of the importance of a strong and growing labor market. We take advantage of funding opportunities to support expansions, having used CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds for storm water projects, federal and state energy grants to replace street lights with LED, and TIF (Tax Increment Finance) funding,” said Superior Mayor Sonia Schmidt. “We are always willing to work with incoming companies to find innovative solutions to make expansions possible.”
Highlights for the City of Superior include:
• For the past four years, the City has partnered with South Central Economic Development District on a Nuisance Abatement program that identifies health and safety nuisances, and works with property owners to remove or mitigate them. The program identified many dilapidated homes that are vacant and/or no longer suited for occupancy. Property owners are either required to rehabilitate or remove the structures. So far the City has removed 10 dilapidated homes and financially leveraged the removal of four more.
• Two TIF funding projects took place last year. One was a new $28 million grain facility/elevator. Aurora Cooperative, one of Nebraska’s largest cooperatives, partnered with CHS Inc., a global business to form Superior East, LLC, and build a new high-speed shuttle loading facility on the east edge of the city. The second project, set to open in the next few weeks is the $2 million 17-unit assisted living Kingswood Court.
• Two existing businesses built new stores at Superior’s busiest intersection, highways 8 and 14. Dollar General removed a vacant building and replaced it with a 9,500 sq. ft. retail store, and Casey’s General Store bought land contiguous to its current store, demolished the existing facility and other dilapidated structures, and built a new retail space, expanding fueling stations in the process.
• A large storm water project in downtown Superior was recently completed and partially funded by CDBG funding.
• During the past six years, two Community Needs Assessment Surveys have been completed. In the past three years, the City adopted a new Comprehensive Plan (with CDBG funds), a Zoning Ordinance, and Wellhead Protection Plan (with CDBG funds).
• The City is currently completing a Community Housing Study (with funds from the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority) and accepting proposals for a Comprehensive Community Solid Waste Management Action Plan (using CDBG funds).
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development created the program in 2011 with the purpose of helping smaller Nebraska communities deal head-on with challenges and change. Communities must demonstrate having a solid planning and implementation process in place. Communities also must actively take advantage of technology, or be willing to learn to meet program objectives.
Applicant communities are evaluated in:
• Community involvement
• Strategic planning
• Community planning and zoning
• Business and technology development
• Incentives and implementation
For information about Superior’s ongoing efforts, contact Derek Clark at 402-879-4713, or DClark@cityofsuperior.net
For information about the Certified Leadership Development Community Program, contact Kelly Gewecke at 308-627-3151, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://neded.org/community/community-info/community-improvement/leadership-community