NOVEMBER 10, 2015 (LINCOLN, NEB.)—Hartington, Neb. (pop.1,528), has earned its recertification in the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community Program. The city was originally certified in April 2010 and recertified in October 2015.
The program is sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). Designation as a Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community indicates that Hartington is prepared for business growth and ready to meet the needs of companies seeking new business and industrial locations.
“It’s exciting to hear about Hartington’s enthusiastic approach to economic development,” said Nebraska Diplomats President Annette Wiles. “I am especially impressed by the influx of new companies and businesses for a community of its size.”
“The designation that Hartington received five years ago has really opened the door to improving our community,” said Hartington Mayor Brad Peitz. “Not only does the process help us focus more on community and economic development planning, but allows us to be better prepared when applying for grants and using other resources. This process is a great tool in helping any community to be proactive in preparing for future growth.”
“We are very excited that Hartington has been recertified in the Nebraska Diplomats program,” said Chris Miller, Hartington Community Development Corporation President. “Having this designation during the past five years has helped place us in an excellent position to secure many different grants and projects, and has definitely encouraged our local businesses to expand. We have also been fortunate to secure new business start-ups along with many business expansions in the community. We are pleased to once again be an “Economic Development Certified Community.”
“We are excited about all the great accomplishments during the past five years. Our community’s leaders and volunteers are doing a great job in partnering and collaborating on efforts that lead to growth and sustainability,” said Carla Becker, Economic Development Coordinator. “By partnering with economic development organizations, such as DED, we are able to stay at the forefront of community planning and preparedness as we continue to enhance our opportunities and vision of “Hartington— a great place to call home.”
During the last five years the City of Hartington and Hartington Community Development Corporation (HCDC) have helped three manufacturing businesses and eight service- and retail-based businesses locate here resulting in 28 and 18 new jobs, respectively: helped ten existing businesses expand, resulting in new capital investment and six new jobs; and helped further develop an existing industrial park and purchase 15.2 acres for a future park.
Other accomplishments during the past five years include:
- In August 2010, Hartington was awarded a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from DED to develop Westfield Acres, a new housing subdivision. Phase I started in April 2011 with the installation of infrastructure for 19 new homes. During the past three years, 13 homes have been built. HCDC is developing future plans for additional lots as part of the project’s Phase II.
- In September 2010, Hartington received $29,900 in CDBG Downtown Revitalization funding to develop a plan for improving the community’s downtown district. With the new plan in place, the community received a second CDBG Downtown Revitalization Grant to undertake a $2 million downtown revitalization project that included new streets, sidewalks, and historic lighting in the downtown area.
- In 2014 the community built a new fire hall for the fire and ambulance departments. The 80 x 200 sq. ft. building is equipped with seven overhead doors and includes meeting space, a conference room, and office space.
- The City and HCDC partnered with Northeast Community College to hire a regional coordinator to serve Cedar and Knox Counties. This new position addresses adult and student learners, and the employment needs of area businesses, and coordinates with area schools to offer distance learning and college credit courses.
- In September 2013, Cobblestone Inn and Suites held its grand opening. The, 28-room hotel was funded by local investors and supported by LB840 funding and TIF.
- HCDC received a $25,000 JOBS Grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka. The award allowed it to provide 0% loans to nine businesses during the past two years for façade improvement projects.
- In 2011, the City received the Doug Bereuter Accomplished Community Award for community and economic development from the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District in Norfolk.
- In 2012, the City received the Governor’s Honorary Showcase Award, and in 2014 it earned the Governor’s Showcase Community Award.
DED Business Development Consultant Lynn Kohout, attended the November 9 city council meeting to recognize the efforts of the City.
Contact Lynn Kohout at 402-440-2559, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.neded.org/economic-development-certified-community for additional information on the Economic Development Certified Community Program.