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  • LB40 Update: Bill that would enable state aid for building industrial parks sees support in hearing

    North Platte leaders found many friends in a State Capitol hearing room Thursday as state Sen. Mike Groene presented his bill to enable state aid for building industrial “rail parks.”
    Five people supported Legislative Bill 40 in person and 16 more in writing at the bill’s public hearing before the Legislature’s Revenue Committee.
    No one opposed what Groene and North Platte business leader Gary Person called a vital pump-primer to lure large blue-collar employers to North Platte and greater Nebraska.
    “Some especially rural senators came over to me and said, ‘This is a great idea — something for rural Nebraska that fits us,’” Groene told committee members.
    The COVID-19 pandemic, the District 42 senator added, has made national industrial employers more interested in leaving dense population areas for middle America.
    “In Lincoln County, we wear blue jeans to work,” he said. “And those are the types of jobs we need.”
    Person, who helped Groene shape LB 40 as president and CEO of the North Platte Area Chamber & Development Corp., said 35 years in western Nebraska economic development have taught him “you have a competitive chance” to lure manufacturers “if you have direct rail access.” Continue reading...
    The North Platte Chamber and Development Corporation would like to thank Sen. Mike Groene for sponsoring LB40, as well as the co-sponsoring state senators Sen. Matt Williams, Sen. Joni Albrecht and Sen. John Stinner.  We also very much appreciate and thank the following individuals, organizations and entities that provided testimony in favor of LB40 at the legislative hearing in Lincoln either through testifying at the hearing or providing written testimony ahead of time.
    TESTIFYING: (all in Favor)  Opposition: None
    Sen. Mike Groene
    North Platte Chamber & Development President & CEO Gary Person
    Lincoln County Commissioner Chris Bruns
    Nebraska League of Municipalities – Christy Abraham, Legal Counsel
    Nebraska Association of County Officials – Jon Cannon
    (In Writing)

    • Lincoln County Commissioners – Commission Chairman Kent Weems
    • City of North Platte – Mayor Brandon Kelliher
    • North Platte Chamber & Development Corporation – Board Chairman Josh Harm
    • Village of Hershey – Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Wolfgang
    • Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Bryan Slone, President
    • Economic Development Committee for North Platte / Lincoln County – Committee Chairman Bill Troshynski
    • Black Hills Energy – Vice-President of Natural Gas Operations Kevin Jarosz
    • Agri-Business Committee of the Chamber of Commerce – Committee Chairman Jordan Maassen
    • Dawson Public Power District – General Manager Gwen Kautz
    • Lincoln County Visitors Bureau – Executive Director Lisa Burke
    • McCook Chamber of Commerce – Executive Director Dawson Brunswick
    • North Platte Ambassadors – President Tanner Pettera
    • Nebraska Economic Developers Association – Brian Vasa, President
    • Nebraska Public Power District- Shirley Higgins, Governmental Affairs Leader
    • Union Pacific Railroad- Kelly O’Brien, Public Affairs

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