Big Changes Will Come to West Kearney

Big changes are coming to the west side of Kearney.

The City Council met Tuesday to discuss rejuvenating a part of the community that they said is blighted.

They want to build up the area to the southwest of the Buckle building on 24th Street. The city council hopes that including the area in a federal program will encourage more businesses to move in.

An area can ask for this federal tax benefit if they have dilapidated structures; signs of utility, infrastructure, and roadway problems; as well as other issues. This particular zone was built more than 40 years ago and includes 150 properties.

"This study was commissioned by a property owner and as a CRA as we looked at this, we looked at the whole area and said, should we focus on this one requested area or look broader than that? So we did look on a broader scale," said Chairman John Abegglen of Community Redevelopment Authority.

Some council members said it is positive for the area though calling it blighted and substandard doesn't sound like a positive thing.

One property owner is thrilled with the decision and thinks it will be good for the city. "There's been a lot of development up north and south but out west of Kearney here there just hasn't been much development so help bring in other people who want to develop in this area, and I think that's good for the city of Kearney," said Jeff Waggoner, owner of Dave Waggoner Plumbing and Heating.

He also said that his business has worked on projects in blighted areas in the past and it was a success.

The tax benefit would delay property tax increases on developed property for up to 15 years.