By Don Ogle
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Council Sets Public Hearing for Potential Building Purchase


March 29, 2019

Chamber Reports Progress

Sidney’s City Council on Tuesday approved a public hearing for April 9, at which time members will obtain information for the proposed purchase of an office building at 812 13th Ave. in Sidney. The building, which originally housed Sidney’s John Deere dealership, became the original retail store for Cabela’s, and later was used by the company for office space.

The city proposes to purchase the property for $1 million and to lease the space to UST Global, a company planning a business expansion into Sidney. Melissa Norgaard, the city’s economic development director, told the Sun-Telegraph earlier this week that the purchase would help protect the investments UST Global has already made here.

The public hearing will be at 7:15 p.m. April 9.

During the short meeting Council also heard a report from Cheyenne County Chamber President/CEO Hop Feeney.

In her report, Feeney said Chamber welcome packets are being distributed “consistently” to new residents.

She also reported that the Chamber has had discuussion recently on new business startups seeking membership. Some of those, she said, don’t have a business location per-se, but are working out of the business development center at Western Nebraska Community College. Due to their status, Feeney said those businesses are being charged the base membership rate of $170.

Of particular interest to Council was Feeney’s report on the proposed Hickory Square Project. Feeney said the Chamber has been working to establish a 501(c)(3) charitable designation for Project funding. She said funds have been handled through the hospital’s 501(c)(3) organization, but the Chamber wants to establish its own organization for Hickory Square to handle finances in a better manner.

She said among the advantages of the Project having its own 501(c)(3) status is being able to apply for additional grants. Many grants are available for such a project, Feeney said, and the 501(c)(3) status is needed to make those applications. The Chamber is in the process of obtaining its 501(c)(3) status for the project and hopes to have it in place by the end of May.

So far project has had $530,000 in grants and matching funds dedicated to the Project. Cost of Hickory Square was estimated at $700,000, but Feeney said the Chamber hopes to raise about $1 million so extra funds are available for maintenance and other needs.

Feeney told Council the next step in the fund raising process is sending out letters for a gift registry. Those choosing to donate using the registry can specify which parts of the project funds may go to.

“That way if they want to designate a bench in the name of someone, or give toward a certain feature they can,” she said.

Mayor Roger Gallaway said one thing he would like to see is a joint work session with Council and the Project Committee so Council can be aware of progress.

In another portion of her report, Feeney said the Chamber is working with the town of Potter to put on an event where businesses stay open later to allow visitors an opportunity to visit. Similar to the Business After Hours, but on a differnt scale, the event would be a way to highlight businesses in the county’s villages. Feeney hopes to have the event sometime this summer and if successful, do something similar in other towns as well.


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