Burt and Cuming County Economic Development Receive Grant From Nielsen Foundation


Burt County Economic Development Corporation and Cuming County Economic Development are pleased to announce they have received a $150,000 grant from the Donald E. Nielsen Foundation. The funds will be used for a housing demolition program in each of the counties, which will be administered by their respective economic development organizations. The goal of the program is to assist communities and/or individuals in funding the demolition of dilapidated residential structures.

 

Both counties have an issue with an aging housing stock. According to Burt and Cuming County housing studies, there are over 300 plus houses that are in poor and dilapidated condition within the two-county area. Both counties are crafting their own unique plans that will address this issue.

 

Burt County will begin taking applications for their demolition program in January 1 through March 31, 2016. Applications can be submitted by either the property owner or by the governmental entity. Each grant that is allocated will cover no more than 50% of the total demolition cost. Each community can receive funding for no more than two houses per funding cycle. Grant cycles will repeat as funding allows.

 

“In discussions with community leaders, they were ready to do something about dilapidated and abandoned houses, but often lacked the funding. This program was a direct result of listening to the needs of the communities,” said Patty Plugge, director of Burt County Economic Development Corporation. “We are currently partnering with Cuming County on another possible housing project. It just makes sense to work together on common issues, when possible.”

 

For more information on the guidelines and application process for the Burt County Demolition Program, visit http://www.burtcoedc.com or contact Patty Plugge at 402-374-2953.

Pictured are: L to R  Garry Clark, Cuming County Economic Development, Clarence Mock, Donald E. Nielsen Foundation, Patty Plugge, Burt Co. Economic Development. Photo courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Pictured are: L to R Garry Clark, Cuming County Economic Development, Clarence Mock, Donald E. Nielsen Foundation, Patty Plugge, Burt Co. Economic Development. Photo courtesy of Patty Plugge.

 

 

 

Community Leaders Attend Better Together Leadership Summit


Twelve community representatives from across Burt County came together for food and fellowship on Wednesday evening, September 23rd at the new Lyons Auditorium. Burt County Economic Development sponsored the event, “Better Together Leadership Summit” as a chance for city council/village board members and their staff to get acquainted and share experiences.

 

Patty Plugge, Executive Director of BCEDC, welcomed the group and talked about the trends affecting rural communities. “Regionalism is vital to our rural communities.”
The mayor of Lyons, Andy Fuston, explained how the city went about the renovation of the city auditorium. He stressed the importance of having a good grant writer for your community and how helpful that was in the process. Plugge also reminded the group that the Northeast NE Development District can assist its members in grant writing.

 

The group had representatives from Lyons, Tekamah and Decatur at Wednesday’s meeting. They agreed to hold this type of meeting again, possibly on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. The goal is to share information and learn more about topics that can help their communities thrive. Plugge agreed to organize the meetings and will be asking for suggestions on interesting topics. All community representatives will be invited to participate.

Patty Plugge addresses those attending the leadership summit recently. Photo courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Patty Plugge addresses those attending the leadership summit recently. Photo courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Lyons Mayor Andy Fuston discussed the renovation of the community center in Lyons with other community leaders at the summit. Photo courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Lyons Mayor Andy Fuston discussed the renovation of the community center in Lyons with other community leaders at the summit. Photo courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Burt and Cuming County Housing Receive Nielsen Grant


 

“I am very excited to announce that our organization, along with the Cuming County EDC, has been approved for a grant to help in the demolition of dilapidated housing in Burt County.  We will be receiving $75,000 to be used for this. We are working on an application that the communities will use to apply for funding.  More on this as we get it,” stated Patty Plugge, Executive Director Burt County Economic Development Corporation.Press Release-Nielsen Grant

Leadership Burt County Graduating Class


Leadership Burt County is a program designed to motivate and empower citizens committed to building vibrant, prosperous communities and workplaces for today and the future.  This class marks the fifth class to graduate from the seven-month program,  which consisted of a day-long class each month.  The class covered the latest leadership trends, county and state information, and tours of local businesses and also the State Capitol.

 

Since its beginning in 2009, the program has graduated fifty-six potential local leaders.  The sponsors of the program are Burt County Economic Development Corporation and UNL Extension.

Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world.  It is, indeed, the only thing that ever has.”  -Margaret Mead

Pictured: Front L-R Laurie Elliott, Karolyn McElroy, Kristine Haber, Cynthia Petersen, Lisa Skinner.   Back L-R Lucas Cameron, Judd Bogseth, Shara Johnson, Ben Kreifels, Lisa Anderson. Photo Courtesy of Patty Plugge, Executive Director of the Burt County Economic Development Corporation.

Pictured:
Front L-R
Laurie Elliott, Karolyn McElroy, Kristine Haber, Cynthia Petersen, Lisa Skinner.
Back L-R
Lucas Cameron, Judd Bogseth, Shara Johnson, Ben Kreifels, Lisa Anderson.
Photo Courtesy of Patty Plugge, Executive Director of the Burt County Economic Development Corporation.

Representative for Senator Deb Fischer Visits Oakland Library


A constituent services representative for U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, Tiffany Settles, stopped in the Oakland Public Library last week to spend time with local citizens.

Those on-hand discussed many issues with Tiffany, including local and regional subjects. Library Director Rosa Schmidt filled her in on the upcoming expansion of the library. The prospect of a new community center in Oakland was also mentioned along with the addition of the Dollar Store in Oakland.

Patty Plugge, Executive Director of the Burt County Economic Development Corporation discussed housing in rural areas and her concern about the workforce. She also praised libraries and what they offer to their communities. “People who say there isn’t a need for libraries are wrong,” Patty stated. Rosa discussed how the Oakland Library helps those looking for jobs. “We assist them in searching for jobs in the area and helping them to fill out their applications,” she said.

As far as housing in local communities, Patty had some information to share. “In order to make more housing work, the community has to come together,” Patty stated.

Housing for senior citizens has become an issue, with some housing units now allowing people of any age to live in them, thus changing the dynamics of the housing. “Some communities have housing just for senior citizens. When we have seniors and others in the same building, problems arise, but not when it is just seniors,” Patty said.

Tiffany also mentioned a bill that Senator Deb Fischer recently had passed, the Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. December 12, 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of Boys Town. In honor of this occasion, anniversary coins will be produced to sell 50,000 $5 gold coins, 350,000 $1 silver coins and 300,000 clad half-dollar coins. “The coins will be produced at no cost to taxpayers and available from 2017-2018,” Tiffany stated.

For further information or to share your concerns with Tiffany, email her at Tiffany_Settles@Fischer_Senate.gov.

Representative for U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, Tiffany Settles, from left, Rosa Schmidt, library director and Executive Director for Burt County Economic Development Corporation Patty Plugge visit about local and regional issues at the Oakland Library recently. Photo Credit/Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Representative for U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, Tiffany Settles, from left, Rosa Schmidt, library director and Executive Director for Burt County Economic Development Corporation Patty Plugge visit about local and regional issues at the Oakland Library recently. Photo Credit/Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

 

Low-Interest Loans Available for Exterior Improvements for Commercial Buildings in Burt County


By Patty Plugge, Executive Director

 

Nine businesses have already taken advantage of a program administered by Burt County Economic Development (BCEDC). If you’re an owner of a commercial building and you’re thinking about making some street side improvements, you may qualify for this low interest loan program. The Burt County Façade Improvement Loan Program is a revolving loan that businesses can use to fund street side exterior improvements and signage on any commercial building.

 

Funded by a JOBS grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, and matched by BCEDC, the 2% interest microloan program has a maximum loan amount per project of $5500. There must be a 15% cash match. The loan repayment plan includes sixty (60) monthly installments of equal payments.

 

The objective of the Façade Improvement Program is to provide financial assistance to improve the looks of commercial areas. This not only helps the building owner, it is also a benefit to the neighboring businesses. It improves the impression given to folks driving through our communities, and shows a community that takes pride in itself.

 

So if you have been thinking about new windows, brick work, siding, awnings, signage, or any exterior street side improvements to your building, contact the BCEDC office at 374-2953.

 

2015 CEDC Board of Directors

 

Sarah Chatt, Tekamah

Pam Thomsen, Lyons

John Werner, Oakland

Greg Brummond, Craig

Lisa Anderson, Tekamah

Karolyn McElroy, Lyons

Ted Connealy, Tekamah

Kyle Brink, Lyons

Debbie Anderson, Oakland

Patty Plugge, Executive Dir.

 

New Officers for Burt County Economic Development Corporation


The officers for 2015 are as follows:

President – Sarah Chatt, Tekamah

Vice President – Pam Thomson, Lyons

Secretary/Treasurer – John Werner, Oakland

 

“We will continue to focus our efforts in 2015 in three areas – business development, community development, and tourism,” stated Patty Plugge, Executive Director.

 

Brooks Larson Receives Award


Patty Plugge, Executive Director, awarding Brooks Larson, First National Bank Northeast in Lyons, for serving as President in 2015 for Burt County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC).  BCEDC is a not-for profit, public/private partnership whose mission is to responsibly develop and expand the economy and enhance the quality of life in Burt County. Photo Courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Patty Plugge, Executive Director, awarding Brooks Larson, First National
Bank Northeast in Lyons, for serving as President in 2015 for Burt County
Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC). BCEDC is a not-for profit,
public/private partnership whose mission is to responsibly develop and
expand the economy and enhance the quality of life in Burt County.
Photo Courtesy of Patty Plugge.

Leadership Burt County Taking Applications


Are you interested in sharpening your leadership skills? Would you like to know how to work with different personality types, and learn more about what makes our economy tick? Applications are currently being accepted for the upcoming year’s Leadership Burt County Class. The nine-month class begins on Oct. 7th, and is held the first Tuesday of each month through May, from 9am – 3:30pm. Locations for class vary throughout the county each month.

 

This will be the fifth year of Leadership Burt County, which is sponsored by UNL Extension and Burt County Economic Development Corporation. To apply, or to recommend someone, please contact Burt County EDC at burtcoedec@abbnebraska.com. Maximum class size is twelve, so get your applications in early!

 

Housing Leaders Meet in Burt County


Leaders, developers and representatives from across NE were in Lyons on June 19th for the Burt County Housing Summit, hosted by Burt County Economic Development Corporation and Nebraska Investment Finance Authority. The purpose of the summit was to inform housing developers of the opportunities available in Burt County, and match those opportunities with the appropriate financing programs.

Keith Carl, with Hanna:Keelan Associates spoke to the group about the results compiled in the updated Burt County Housing Study. The results found that Burt County will need to provide 108 new housing units – 72 owner, 36 rental – by 2019. Each community’s needs were determined by surveys and face-to-face meetings.

Steve Peregrine, with Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA), then talked about the financing programs that NIFA provides. Along with NIFA, representatives from USDA, HUD and the NE Department of Economic Development all gave a brief report on financial programs that developers can use to help Burt County achieve their housing goals

Pam Thomsen, Director of Three Rivers Housing Corporation, spoke to the funding her organization received to construct three new affordable homes. These homes will be built in Lyons because the City of Lyons was prepared by having clear ownership of three buildable lots that they offered to donate to anyone willing to build a home. One of the lots already has been spoken for, leaving two available for qualified individuals.

After hearing from the housing experts, the group boarded a bus for a tour of Burt County. Those serving as tour guides for their communities included: Pam Thomsen and Brooks Larsen – Lyons, Matt Connealy – Decatur, Kevin Brenneis – Tekamah, Denise Gilliland and Sue Beckner – Oakland. All communities in Burt County have available lots within the community that would be suitable for affordable housing.

Patty Plugge, Executive Director of Burt County Economic Development Corporation, reported that since the Summit, she has had contact with two separate housing development companies interested in pursuing affordable housing projects in Burt County. Plugge said she will continue to work with Three Rivers Housing and any other developers, and hopes to have good news to report concerning this soon.

 

Housing leaders met in Burt County, discussing different possible housing areas, then took a tour of Burt County where tour guides met with them in each community, pointing out places of interest to those in attendance. Photo Credit/Patty Plugge BCEDC.

Housing leaders met in Burt County, discussing different possible housing areas, then took a tour of Burt County where tour guides met with them in each community, pointing out places of interest to those in attendance. Photo Credit/Patty Plugge BCEDC.

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