The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Bell Lumber & Pole Company Loan Forgiven


December 6, 2017

To make money, it takes money. Likewise, to expand a business it takes an investment, some seed money.

A local company was awarded funds to expand and Monday was recognized for fulfilling its obligation.

The federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program provides funding for community and economic development projects to encourage additional federal, state and private resources. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) administers the CDBG program for most of the state; some cities administer the CDBG program locally.

The program is designed to address three issues: benefit low and moderate-income people, prevent or eliminate slum or blight conditions and solve catastrophic health and safety threats.

Bell Lumber and Pole Company was awarded a loan that would be forgiven if job creation and job maintenance is completed, according to a letter from the Panhandle Area Development District. The Memorandum Of Understanding required at least 30 new permanent jobs be added to the company's facility in Cheyenne County. The jobs were to be created within 24 months of the Noticed of Approval letter from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The letter was dated Aug. 27, 2014. A certificate of completion was issued by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development Feb. 16, 2016.

In other business, the commissioners discussed the County's Limited English Proficiency Plan (LEP). The program is for people who are seeking or need government assistance but have limited English proficiency. County Attorney Paul Schaub said the program is to help people whose primary language is something other than English. Schaub said the county had to identify the percent of minorities in the county and prevalent languages. The primary languages in Cheyenne County are English and Spanish, he said.

Cheyenne County's plan includes a language identity card that helps county staff and officials identify what language is being spoken, and to have a translator or reliable translator program available.

The commissioners also heard from Region 21 Emergency Management Coordinator Ron Leal about emergency sirens in unincorporated area of Cheyenne County. Areas discussed were Lorenzo, Bronson and Enslo. The sirens were priced from two different companies, both priced in the mid-$17,000 range. Commissioner Randall Miller said his concern is if the funds are budgeted, directly asking Leal if he has the money in his budget. Miller said he is not against the project, but wants to know how the project will be funded.

"All I'm saying is this is the first I've heard about it," Miller said.

The commissioners also discussed the proper bidding procedure; when and under what conditions are bids required, stressing that a project cannot be divided into smaller portions to avoid a bid requirement. Chairman Darrell Johnson asked about the publishing requirement and if there other options such as the Internet, public notice locations or on a radio station. Schaub said there is no way to avoid the publication requirement.


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