SIDNEY, Neb. – Sidney City Council discussed on Tuesday how to create more housing in Sidney and a new business moving to Sidney that will create four additional jobs each year for residents of Cheyenne County.
During Tuesday’s city council meeting, City Manager David Scott discussed the letter he received from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development regarding Sidney’s application for the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund (NAHTF).
“We made the first round but we didn’t make the final cut,” Scott said of Sidney’s affordable housing application.
Although the application was not accepted, Scott said he was happy to learn how to strengthen Sidney’s candidacy for the next grant he is applying for. Scott said there will be more rural housing grants which he will likely apply for on Sidney’s behalf.
Scott said the only comments he received needed to be more detailed. Scott has a meeting later this week to discuss how to improve Sidney’s candidacy.
Mayor Roger Gallaway said that according to the city’s housing study, Sidney needed 280 more homes by 2030. Gallaway asked Scott if that was possible given that Sidney would need to build 35 new homes per year.
Scott said building many houses is not impossible if they can find enough builders.
“Finding developers or contractors is obviously going to be the hardest part,” Scott said. “We are limited by the number of developers we can attract.”
Council has approved a Tax Incremental Funding (TIF) program for Sidney Workforce Housing.
Prior to Cabela’s move, many construction projects were underway but abandoned, Scott said. Abandoned lots are no longer attractive to builders because there are fewer economic and financial incentives. The cost of construction has also increased, he said.
Implementing Workforce TIF would solve those problems by allowing developers to use TIF for the cost of building improvements, city leaders said.
The TIF offsets the high cost and adds an incentive for entrepreneurs, they noted.
The council also approved a job creation incentive fund for a new business coming to Sidney.
Crecera Brands Inc. has agreed to provide four jobs each year for three years to residents of Cheyenne County. After the first 12 months of creating new jobs, Sidney City Council agreed to pay Crecera $65,000 in the first year, an additional $65,000 after two years, and an additional $70,000 after the third year.
Overall, Sidney pledged a $200,000 job creation incentive to Crecera for the 12 jobs the company will create over three years.
“I make sure employees have to be based in Sidney or Cheyenne County,” Scott said.