News 2008 February 2008

Nebraska Welcome Centers are open for business

Look for staff starting March 1, 2008
LINCOLN, NEB. (February 29, 2008)—Starting March 1, some of the state’s busiest Welcome Centers will have friendly, helpful staff members to give tourists a real Nebraska welcome.
“Nebraska’s Visitor Guide program is one of our longest standing, most well respected programs,” said Ann Bierbower, Visitor Center coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. “Tourists can get a warm welcome, information and a friendly face when they stop at any of our centers, located across the state.”
Welcome centers and rest areas that will be staffed starting March 1 include:

  • NOTIC, located at 1212 Bob Gibson Blvd., mile marker 454, in Omaha. NOTIC is the first Travel Information center upon entering Nebraska from the east. Game and parks permits are available here and there is a small on-site gift shop. This site is open year round.
  • Melia Hill, located at mile marker 432 westbound, is located 2 miles west of the Fish Hatchery Interchange and contains parking, nine covered picnic areas, a play area and during the summer, a tourist information center.
  • Ogallala East bound, at mile marker 132, and west bound, at mile marker 124. The westbound site is located four miles east of Ogallala and contains parking, 8 covered picnic shelters, a play area and, during the summer, a tourist information area. The eastbound site has 14 acres of parking, 10 covered picnic shelters, a children’s play area and a summer tourist information center.
  • Kimball East bound, at mile marker 9, is located 1.3 miles east of the Bushnell Interchange and has parking, 8 covered picnic shelters, a play area and a tourist information center in the summer.
  • The Sgt Floyd Welcome Center, in Sioux City, Iowa, is staffed in the summer by two Nebraskans. It is located at 1000 Larsen Park Rd. in Sioux City.
  • The Corps of Discovery Welcome Center is located at 89705 US Hwy. 81 and three staff members work at this site.


www.VisitNebraska.org is your one-stop-shop for Nebraska tourism, where you can plan road trips, learn more about the state’s lodging facilities, attractions and events, check out virtual maps, request a free Nebraska Travel Guide and view a newly expanded photo gallery.

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Ann Bierbower at 800-228-4307, 402-472-3791, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sarah Baker at 800-228-4307, 402-471-3797, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tax advantages, Asian trade and reverse trade missions to be discussed at upcoming Diplomats meeting

LINCOLN, NEB. (February 26, 2008)—Be among the many Nebraskans who gather March 3 at one of three Nebraska Diplomat regional meeting locations to discuss key local and state economic development activities. While there, the Diplomats invite you to become a member of the organization.

Diplomats President Tim White and Richard Baier, director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development will be leading the meeting at the following times and locations:

  • 9-10 a.m.–Marina Inn Conference Center, 510 E. 5th St., South Sioux City
  • 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. luncheon (with nominal cost)—University of Nebraska Omaha Alumni Center, 6705 Dodge St.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.—North Platte Regional Airport Conference Room, 5400 E. Lee Bird Dr., Ste. 10.

The Nebraska Diplomats are interested in your input and ideas related to the new Super Advantage tax tier, the Governor’s Fall 2007 trade mission to China and Japan, the September 2008 Reverse Trade Mission, and other issues of importance in your region.

RSVP by Friday, February 29 to Lori Shaal at 402-471-4592, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT
Patty Wood at 800-426-6505, 402-471-1559, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Republican City, Wymore receive $500,000 CDBG funding to improve water, wastewater systems

LINCOLN, NEB. (February 25, 2008)—The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to Republican City and Wymore to inspect and/or update and replace components of their water or wastewater systems.

Republican City will use its $250,000 CDBG funding to build a new municipal well and 100,000-gallon storage facility, and install a radio-read meter system. Currently Republican City has three functioning water wells. Its’ fourth well contains elevated concentrations of nitrate requiring an alternate source of water, which has put the community under a Nitrate Administrative Order issued by the Nebraska Health and Human Service System.”
 The new well will be built approximately 4-1/2 miles northeast of Well #4 and include backup power in case of emergencies involving power outages. The new storage tank will be constructed near the existing 40,000-gallon elevated storage tank. While a water main extension was completed on West Avenue and Pioneer Drive in 2001, the remaining cast iron distribution system dates back to the 1950s when the village was relocated to its present location. This system will be equipped with new water meters. Republican City also has applied for $1,108,040 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to complete the project.

Wymore will use its $250,000 CDBG funding to replace three lift stations in its collection system, and replace the lift station and final circular clarifier mechanism, improve the oxidation ditch, and install new piping, valves, and electrical system at its treatment plant. The community’s clay pipe sewers were first built around 1940, along with three lift stations located within the system, and a main lift station at the treatment plant. The wastewater treatment plant, built in 1972, uses an oxidation ditch and final clarifier, stabilizing sludge with lime, which is then disposed on agricultural land. Wymore also has applied for a $350,600 loan from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund to complete the project.

Federal funds are made available to DED from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s CDBG program to assist with the development of businesses and communities throughout the state. Funding requests for this program are administered by DED and are available to local governments and counties in Nebraska with populations less than 50,000.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT
Patty Wood at 800-426-6505, 402-471-1559, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gov. Heineman to Host International Businesses during Reverse Trade Mission in September

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman announced plans today to host international guests from several countries this fall. Planned for Wednesday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 13, the reverse trade mission will offer trade representatives and international business contacts the opportunity to see firsthand the benefits of doing business in Nebraska. The theme for the event is ‘Bringing the World to Nebraska.’

The event is being sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and the Nebraska Departments of Economic Development and Agriculture. Trade mission participants will be invited to take part in the annual Nebraska Diplomats’ Passport to Nebraska Weekend, planned for Sept. 12 – 13.

“The reverse trade mission concept provides a chance to encourage our international trade partners to explore Nebraska’s endless possibilities up close and in person,” Gov. Heineman said. “International trade and investment is crucial to our state economy. This event provides opportunities for international customers to see firsthand what Nebraska has to offer. Inviting our trade partners to see what sets Nebraska’s many quality products and world-class business services apart provides a valuable marketing opportunity for Nebraska businesses and communities.”

The reverse trade mission is aimed at encouraging international companies to explore opportunities for investment in Nebraska. It’s anticipated that representatives from Japan, China, Brazil, and Germany will be among those participating due to business interests already in the state. Any international company interested in doing business in Nebraska is invited to participate.

More than 350 businesses in Nebraska are foreign-owned and employ more than 19,000 workers. Overall, international trade is responsible for sustaining more than 56,000 jobs in the state and creating more than $5 billion in new revenue each year.

Nebraska Diplomats President Tim White said, “This is an exciting opportunity to showcase Nebraska’s advantages to an international audience. As part of the Diplomats’ mission to generate business and economic growth in our state, the reverse trade mission is designed to present Nebraska and our many opportunities, and we are proud to sponsor this event.”   

The trade mission will market the many advantages Nebraska has to offer businesses, including low operating costs, a quality workforce and a centralized location that serves as a transportation hub for the nation, as well as venture capital opportunities.

Participants representing agri-business companies will have an opportunity to hear about the practices used by Nebraska producers to ensure the safety and quality of Nebraska agricultural products. They will also tour the Nebraska Food Processing Center, which provides services to producers and small business owners ranging from business consulting and market research, to product development and pilot plant services.

The reverse trade mission will provide international businesses the chance to meet with potential customers and explore opportunities for partnership with sourcing companies or joint venture partners. It will also showcase emerging technologies available for license.

Events associated with the reverse trade mission will be held in several communities and will highlight several of Nebraska’s growing industries, including: renewable energy, agriculture, distribution and logistics-oriented companies, medical research, and information technology, as well as the finance and insurance industries.

CONTACT
Patty Wood, DED, 402-471-1559
Christin Kamm, Ag, 402-471-6856

2008 DED briefings scheduled

Learn about economic development in Nebraska

(LINCOLN, NE) Want to learn more about economic development in Nebraska?
Attend the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s (DED) first 2008 Briefing on March 27, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (CST), at Central Community College, Room 210, in Grand Island.

DED staff will provide information about key components for economic development stability and growth, including business and tourism attraction, retention and expansion of existing business, housing and community development and entrepreneurship. DED hosts these free briefings for all interested participants.

The second briefing will be held on July 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (CST), at the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Offices, 402 East State Farm Road, North Platte, and the third briefing in Lincoln in December. Date and location of the December briefing will be announced at a later date.

For information and to register, contact Patty Wood toll-free at 800-426-6505 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Lunch will be provided by NPPD.

CONTACT
Patty Wood, 402-471-1559

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