PLATTSMOUTH — Although 2019 is in its infancy, the city of Plattsmouth already has “six years of work to complete in six months,” according to its mayor.
Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert: “My major goal is economic development and bringing in more retail and industrial business.”
Lambert said the city will work to expand job opportunities for the area.
City Administrator Erv Portis: “We have four active economic development projects we’re already working on.”
In addition to new projects, two existing businesses have announced expansion plans.
Portis: “New Age Manufacturing and Superior Sales and Service are expanding. They are having a hard time recruiting employees. They are at 97 percent, but they are finding its extremely difficult to find good quality candidates to fuel their workforce. It’s a problem businesses are experiencing throughout the country.”
Creating more housing is another top priority for the mayor and city of Plattsmouth.
Portis: We will keep working with Melvin Sudbeck of Sudbeck Homes. He has built five homes that are on the market now. We will keep that effort going forward inside the city.”
Just outside the city limits, Legacy Homes is adding homes to the Osage Ranch development.
Portis: “They are building at a gangbuster rate.”
Lambert: “It’s close by and beneficial to everybody.”
Developing housing on the former Blue Devil Stadium site is another exciting prospect.
Portis: “We have an option to purchase the Old Blue Devil Stadium and have done our due diligence to do so. We’ve talked to a developer about the right type of housing construction for the area and the pace at which we can build it. We’ve been working with the school district and that is highly beneficial.”
Lambert: “We want to get the property back on the tax role.”
As always, Lambert identified the city employees as the town’s most important asset.
Lambert: “One of my goals is to emphasize training and helping employees to upgrade their knowledge and do some cross-training.”
Drawing visitors to the riverfront is still on the horizon.
Portis: “The riverfront is still in the early stages of development. They have water, sewer and electric infrastructure in place for all the lots north of the marina. They will continue their development. They have a lot of those lots leased and are working toward the goal of selling the balance of those lots. We will continue to see signs of construction there.”
Major work is ongoing at the city’s water treatment plant.
Portis: “We’re starting to work on replacing and repairing all the filter media at the water plant, which will cost several hundred thousand dollars. We are also GPS-GIS mapping all our underground water and sewer infrastructure.
Owner Roger Schmidt bought docks last year for the marina.
Portis: “But the river was at a high stage practically the entire season.”
Lambert: “It’s progressing at a place they planned on.”
The city is also preparing for the expansion of Highway 75 into a four- lane to Murray.
Portis said Nebraska Department of Transportation has decided to bid the project August 2020 and start building in the spring of 2020.
Portis: “The next phase is moving the old water line on Highway 75 in preparation of the highway project.”
Lambert said the new public works director has “hit the pavement running with the assistance of our employees.”