LINCOLN – Cities in Nebraska could gain a tool for riverfront development, under a bill heard in the legislature’s Urban Affairs Committee, Tuesday.
LB 97, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford would allow a city to create a riverfront development district by ordinance, extending not more than a half-mile from the edge of the river.
Within the bill, the Big Blue River in southeast Nebraska is among those defined as an eligible riverfront, under the measure. A dozen other rivers are included.
Plattsmouth City Administrator Erv Portis supports the bill. He says had the measure moved forward last year, his city would have taken advantage of it. The community is in the latter stages of a riverfront development project.
:23 “pull this off”
Also speaking in support of LB 97 were Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning and Stan Staab of the North Fork Development Project. Staab says the volunteer group has been trying to assist Norfolk to create a residential, recreational, entertainment and business corridor along the North Fork of the Elkhorn River.
:29 “to do that”
Staab says, “we want to be a miniature Omaha”…. in terms of riverfront development.
:10 “water resources”
Under LB 97, a riverfront development district would be governed by an appointed authority of five or more members. It could establish contracts, enter into interlocal agreements, create and implement riverfront plans. The authority’s property would be exempt from state or local taxes.
A city establishing a riverfront development authority could levy an occupation tax on businesses and users of the property, or levy an assessment against property in the district.