Lincoln County commissioners approve formation of inland port authority for rail park
June 27, 2022 | North Platte Telegraph
With state construction support in hand for an industrial rail park outside Hershey, Lincoln County Commissioners Monday put two more pieces of the project’s puzzle in place.
A unanimous County Board voted 5-0 to create an “inland port authority” to operate the 339-acre park and to negotiate to buy the former Greenbrier Rail Services factory — and its critical Union Pacific rail spur — as the authority’s headquarters.
Chairman Chris Bruns said both steps move the county closer toward securing nearly 2,900 jobs and an eventual annual impact of $2 billion — as estimated in the project’s economic impact study — from the rail park’s eventual agribusiness, warehousing and manufacturing clients.
“The entire package is exciting” for the county and west central Nebraska, Bruns said after the meeting. “It’s transformative for us in a positive way.”
The commissioners’ first rail-park vote clears the county to apply for one of five statewide port authority designations under Legislative Bill 156, passed in 2021.
If the Nebraska Department of Economic Development agrees, commissioners would appoint a nine-member board to oversee day-to-day operation of the rail park’s “inland port district,” Bruns said.
Nonetheless, “the county has a lot of supervision and authority in this process, which I think is key,” he told his fellow commissioners. Continue reading...