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

City Okays 'Shovel Ready' Approach

 

October 31, 2018



When the Bass Pro acquisition of Cabela’s began, properties went on the sale block in relation to the change of staff. It didn’t take long before Sidney real estate was attracting buyers, enough buyers the City of Sidney wants more assets available when companies do show interest.

The Sidney City Council met Monday for a short meeting and an executive session, where City Manager Ed Sadler explaining the need for the meeting is because “circumstances are changing rather quickly.” He said with UST Global under contract for a downtown location, including an option for the upper floors, Sidney doesn’t have an abundance of properties available. In addition, Sadler said Sidney is one of three Nebraska locations considered for a new government office.

“We think it is time we have a discussion,” Sadler said.

Sadler said “the old travel agency” was recently purchased as well. He said the City needs to “add some arrows to its quiver.” He said the task for the City is to assist businesses interested in Sidney, and those expanding staff. The meeting was called to discuss options on the City purchasing land. Before the council convened into an executive session, Sadler said he is seeking existing buildings that can be used for most any purpose, and move-in ready.

“I think if we don’t have that, we’re just another voice in the wind,” he said.

Sadler said there are several prospects talking with the City.

After an executive session of less than 15 minutes, the council less Mayor Joe Arterburn, approved Sadler seeking purchase of specific properties. The council did not define what properties, besides Sadler’s statement of seeking a building that can be used for multiple purposes.

Sadler added the business community has 100 jobs unfilled. With that Sadler said the City needs to be proactive in assisting businesses in locating and training employees.

“There are several businesses looking at third shifts,” he said.

He added available housing is already starting to slow. Councilman Wendall Gaston encouraged Economic Development Director Melissa Norgard to research what the community needs, including what Western Nebraska Community College could offer for cross-training of employees, and of the housing need in Sidney.

 

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