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News November 23, 2015

Hartington Earns Recertification

Congratulations Hartington, NENEDD’s 2011 Doug Bereuter Accomplished Community Award recipient. The City of Hartington has earned its recertification in the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community Program. “The designation that Hartington received five years ago has really opened the door to improving our community,” said Hartington Mayor Brad Peitz.

NENEDD’s Planning and Housing Departments have enjoyed working with Hartington over the years on projects such as, a 2010 Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund Grant to develop Westfield Acres, in which 13 homes have been built to date.  Judy Joy, NENEDD Housing Loan Specialist said “Westfield Acres is a beautiful housing development that has helped the community add to their needed housing stock. It was a pleasure working with individuals in the community to help them obtain an affordable newly constructed home.”. 

In September 2010, Hartington received CDBG Downtown Revitalization grant to develop a plan for improving the community’s downtown district. With the new plan in place, the community received a second CDBG Downtown Revitalization Grant to undertake a $2 million downtown revitalization project that included new streets, sidewalks, and historic lighting in the downtown area. NENEDD Planner Jan Merrill said “Hartington has been an extremely proactive community. They have a very knowledgeable staff and residents that support and actively participate in community development.”

The full press release from DED can be read here.

Staff Attend Annual NADO Training Conference

NENEDD's Executive and Deputy Directors, Thomas L. Higginbotham, Jr., and Tina M. Engelbart, particpated in the National Association of Development Organization (NADO) Annual Training Conference along with over 700 individuals representing almost 230 organizations. They joined the NADO Board of Directors and staff for a lively four days in New Orleans for NADO’s 2015 ATC, Regional Renaissance.  Despite some very unwelcoming weather (think monsoon-like rain and super gusty wind) on the first couple of days, New Orleans was a wonderful setting for the 48th Annual Conference.  A little bit of inclement weather did not keep attendees from partaking in five mobile workshops that took them out into the streets—and on the Mississippi River—to learn about innovative, exciting, and successful ways the city and region have rebounded from natural and man-made disasters and an economic turndown.  Back at the hotel, attendees participated in a slate of conversation cafés for peer-to-peer discussions and problem solving; rolled up their sleeves and participated in relevant and timely learning labs; heard from a wide range of interesting speakers in the general plenary sessions; and had a chance to learn about the most promising programs and strategies of their peers in breakout sessions.  Taking the learning to a new level, the Innovations Awards Roundtable Reception was one of the most energetic and lively opportunities in a while as attendees went from table to table to learn more about the 80 or so award winning projects on hand to share their stories. 

"The conference offered training and educational opportunities covering a broad and diverse range of topics from disaster resilience and strengthening partnerships, to advocating for programs vital to NENEDD's member communities," said Thomas L. Higginbotham, Jr., Executive Director.

Monthly Meeting Highlights

NENEDD and NED, Inc. held their monthly meeting on November 4, 2015.  Highlights from the meetings include business and housing loan approvals and a presentation of the 2015 audits by BrenDee Reinke, CPA, from Kruse, Schumacher, Smejkal & Brockhaus, P.C. "NENEDD and NED, Inc. both have strong internal controls and oversight by their respective boards and management, which resulted in no deficiencies in internal control to report and a clean audit opinion. While working with these two organizations everyone was friendly, organized and knowledgeable, which is why these two organizations are so successful in assiting communities and individuals with economic development, housing and business loans," explained BrenDee Reinke, CPA.

The audits are avaible for viewing on our website:  NENEDD   NED, Inc.

NED, Inc. approved a loan of $42,000 to Nancy and Jarrel Winnings, d/b/a Doggone Good Gifts-to-Go in Chambers. Doggone Good Gifts-to-Go sell a variety of antiques, furniture, glassware, pottery, refurbished items, household items, and gifts. They also carry Watkins products, Sugar Shack Candles & Soaps, Baker’s Candy, Capitol Earth Braided Rugs & accessories, Viancin Silicone Kitchen items, Leanin’ Tree Cards, and their newest line of gourmet food products with their own Doggone Good label. They have an Outdoor Room where they showcase yard art, mosaics, and larger outdoor and seasonal pieces and if that is not enough, Nancy does upholstery work, and refinish furniture for their store and customers.

NED, Inc. also partnered with the City of West Point approving a $50,000 loan to Wade & Peggy Wagner of Wagner Tire & Repair, L.L.C. for the purchase of new pumps. Wagner Tire & Repair is located on Hwy 275 on the south end of West Point. They are the only station in town that offers “full service” gasoline and diesel fuel. They also provide tire sales/repair, auto/truck repair, and have an assortment of sodas and snacks, serving approximately a 25 mile radius of West Point.  Their future growth plans include a full convenience store.  What a great asset to the community of West Point!

If you are looking to start a business or expand an existing business and need assistance visit our website.

There will be two more homes in northeast Nebraska brought up to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s rehabilitation codes with the approval of $25,000 for each home for owner-occupied rehabilitation.  Some of the improvements that will be made include roof, gutters, siding, windows, electrical and plumbing upgrades and much more. These funds will play a major role in making these homes safe and energy efficient, which will lower the families’ utility bills and improve the housing stock in northeast Nebraska.  For more details on our housing programs visit our website.

The full minutes from the meetings can be found on our here.