About 100 people were in attendance as the Scottsbluff Gering Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual State of the Valley event Wednesday, and the leaders for Scottsbluff, Gering, Terrytown, and the County expressed optimism about the year ahead.
Gering Mayor Tony Kaufman said he looks forward to the ‘pioneering’ future of the town, which is all about the people and partnerships. “We’ve had some great partnerships, with projects we’re moving forward on. Our landfill, we have great partners with more regional-mindedness as we move forward there,” said Kaufman, “We’re working on housing and workforce development initiatives, it takes all of these areas we have to be competitive on.”
Scottsbluff Mayor Raymond Gonzales told those in attendance it’s been a challenging and yet exciting year, with a focus on economic development and quality of life in the city. “We’re doing that working with investment, revitalization and partnerships, they’re all important to us,” said Gonzales. “With about $4 million in our LB 840 fund, we’re constantly looking at our regional economic development plan, trying to implement all the components that we can. Sometimes we get some up and going quicker than others, but it’s very key to what we’re doing.”
In talking about recent accomplishments and looking forward, Scotts Bluff County Board Chair Ken Meyer noted the Roads Department budget gained more money this year, and one specific project will start getting attention. “One thing that’s going to happen is that we’re going to do part of Stegall Road, (but) only five miles of it,” said Meyer. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed we’ll be able to do more (after next year).”
Standing in for Terrytown Mayor Chris Perales, Assistant City Manager Lonnie Miller spoke of the progress on that community’s water system upgrade.
Kaufman also took a moment to honor the memory of former Scottsbluff Mayor Don Overman, saying he laid the groundwork for a lot of tremendous things done in our communities today.