Lincoln County & Chamber / DEVCO Enter Into Agreement on Rail Park
Lincoln County and the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation have entered into a long-term memorandum of understanding agreement regarding the pending purchase of the Greenbrier property at the proposed Hershey Rail Park, eight miles west of North Platte.
Lincoln County Commissioners decided Monday through a 5-0 vote to donate $4.75 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to the North Platte Area Chamber & Development Corporation for the exclusive purpose of purchasing the vacated Greenbrier 53,000 square foot production facility and 34-acre site.
The facility is a critical component of the overall operational plan at the 300-acre rail park, which in its initial stages of development.
An exclusive right to purchase the property with Greenbrier and the Chamber has been in place over the past several weeks.
Consequently, the Chamber & Development Corporation formalized a triple net long term lease with Lincoln County to operate and utilize the facility. The County intends to pursue an Inland Port Authority status through a state application process later this fall. The State of Nebraska is scheduled to award up to five distinct locations with the inland port authority designation.
The donation of the funding allows for the North Platte Area Chamber and Development to qualify it through the Rural Projects Act for State matching funds on the development of the rail park. The state matching funds can be used for infrastructure costs, land purchase and securing an anchor industry. Securing the anchor industry will springboard forward the development process.
The state formula for qualifying for the matching funds allows for $30 million of state funding with a $7.5 million local investment. With the $4.75 million county action on Monday and $2 million commitment from the City of North Platte through Quality Growth Funds, the development is in excellent position moving forward.
The County Board (Chris Bruns, Kent Weems, Micaela Wuehler, Jerry Woodruff, and Joe Hewgley) and Chamber & Development Board of Directors both voted unanimously to enter into the agreement. County Commission Chairman Chris Bruns and Chamber & Development President & CEO Gary Person signed the agreement on Monday.