Published On: Wed, Nov 2nd, 2011

City approves grant funds for new industry

HARTINGTON — Everything is falling in line to bring a new industry into the Hartington community.
The Hartington City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to apply for a Community Development Block Grant which will be used to help start a new business just west of Hartington in Deerfield Acres.
The city is asking for grant funds of $505,000 which would be used for a manufacturing business.
The total cost of the project is estimated to cost $1,655,000 and would create close to 20 job opportunities.

Board members approved a revolving loan in the amount of $100,000 for the business, which would be located in the Deerfield building owned by Bob Eickhoff’s CORAE Inc.
A public hearing was held ahead of the regular City Council meeting Oct. 25 concerning the $100,000 loan from LB840 funds accrued from city sales tax funds.
The guidelines that are in place do not require a public hearing according to City Attorney Steve Pier.
“The decision was made to hold a public hearing due to the size of the loan. It gives the public the opportunity to ask questions and make comments,” Pier said.
There were no questions or comments by the public during the hearing.
Holly Quinn, Business Loan Specialist, with the Northeast Neb. Economic Development District, and Don Heimes, Columbus, consultant for the project, attended the meeting.
The recipient of the loans and financing is on a tight schedule, Quinn said.
“Everything has to fall in line in order for the CDBG grant to be approved,” Quinn said. “An environmental review can take up to 90 days – we are obtaining a pre-agreement letter so the process can move ahead.”
Board members looked at the figures and asked several questions concerning the financing and the need to move quickly.
Heimes, who has been helping get paperwork in line, answered a few questions on the loan.
“You asked what the collateral would be – this is a high collateralized loan,” Heimes said. “The city is in an early position as far as the collateral for the LB840 money.”
Revolving Loan Committee member Bill Dendinger said the committee had looked at the information on the loan very carefully before giving their approval.
“We had two or three meetings on this before we made the decision. LB840 money is to be used to create jobs in the community – that is what this is all about,” Dendinger said.
Bringing the manufacturing business into the community will create jobs and be good for Hartington, according to Economic Development President Chris Miller.
“Other states are fighting for employment and they want this business – he has had other offers. Approving the higher amount loan was based on job creation of 16-20 and that may increase down the road,” Miller said. “We are fortunate we have a home-town person that is willing to do this.”
This is good for the community, Miller said.
Heimes said the proper steps are being taken to bring additional job opportunities to the  Hartington area.
“It is evident that the Hartington Economic Development Corp. and the Hartington City Council are very good stewards of the Hartington LB840 economic development funds,” Heimes said. “Your collaborative efforts are the glue that holds communities like Hartington together for today and tomorrow.”
The following people sit on the LB840 Revolving Loan Committee: Brandon Baller, Bill Dendinger, Dan Kathol, Carla Becker and City attorney Steve Pier, along with Brad Peitz and Gary Kruse who represent the City Council.