The Gering City Council Tuesday night gave unanimous approval on two development-related proposals.
With no opposition, the council approved a redevelopment plan for Lisa and Troy Weborg, who are seeking to develop a hotel using the former Rich’s Wrecking building.
The $7 million project would turn the existing building into a hotel lobby, conference room, ballroom and two retail shops, with hotel rooms to be built on the west side of the building. The plan would include approximately $820,000 in Tax Increment Financing, which is less than what the project would qualify for. Lisa Weborg says she also wants to upgrade landscaping to improve the view of the area along 10th Street. “One of my goals, per se, is to try to add more green, and not so much concrete, along that (former) Scottsbluff-Gering Highway. It seems like it’s extremely industrial. B and C Steel has added some trees there, but there are very few trees in that area.”
The council also approved an updated blighted and substandard designation for the U Street corridor east of 7th Street. When a handful of residents from the affected area expressed a little concern about the designation, Mayor Tony Kaufman explained it’s a misleading term when it comes to project development.
“There’s a negative connotation with that name, even though the activities we’re talking about are very positive for communities,” said Kaufman, “So it’s just unfortunate it’s termed ‘blighted and substandard’ versus ‘redevelopment or economic development zone’ or something that’s really at the root of the intent of those activities.”
The updated U Street Corridor encompasses an area north of the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks, east of 7th Street and west of Lockwood Road.