Free rent offered as contest prize

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2019 9:05 am

Dr. Jessica Sanborn submitted a letter of resignation, effective immediately, to the Creighton Economic Development Board when the entity met May 2 at City Hall.

The board took no action to accept the resignation, and it is unclear if her resignation is called for. Sanborn, who was serving as secretary of the board, was appointed to a three-year term by Mayor Chris Patrick in 2016, which term she said expired April 30.

Susan Norris, Creighton economic development director, said she will need to review the bylaws to determine how the board will move forward for selection of a new board member.

Norris reported on her activities during April. She is working with the Creighton Development Corporation on a Pitch It In Creighton Contest.

CDC will provide one year of free rent, in it’s Main Street storefront, to the winning new business. A steering committee made up of ED board members, CDC members, Creighton Chamber of Commerce members, the city administrator and the mayor, will determine the winner.

In addition to rent, the winner will receive a business incentive package. The contest will roll out next month.

“My advertising budget is $305 over budget right now, due to the ED board spending over $800 advertising for my position between October 2018 - January 2019,” Norris said. “For now they (contest entrants) should contact me at: snorriscreighton@gmail.com and 402-992-2535.”

Norris also proposed that the board purchase the former Grand Central Cafe building and offer a similar contest to potential restaurateurs. No action was taken.

A University of Nebraska - Lincoln student will serve as an intern with Norris in Creighton and Plainview, along with duties in Pierce County. The intern’s wage will be covered by a UNL grant. Typically, the host community is responsible for housing, but in this case the yet to be identified student is a resident of Pierce County, so there will be no housing cost, according to Norris.

“My focus for this intern will be social media engagement for business owners, chambers and economic development, as well as innovative downtown revitalization efforts,” the director said.

Norris has also arranged for the Knox County Development Agency board of directors to hold meetings in Creighton, which they had not done for five years. It will meet at City Hall, at 6:30 p.m. May 20.

The KCDA board is pursuing a county housing study. Hannah Keelan and Associates will conduct the $16,000 study, with the county covering $4,000 and each of nine communities in the county assessed an 82 cents per capita. Creighton’s bill will be $1,154.

An alumni survey will be launched June 20, at various Creighton locations, in conjunction with alumni banquets.

Offered in digital format with a QR code (two-dimensional bar code) for response, the short survey is planned as a precursor to a longer community-wide survey that is planned for August.

ED board members worked with developer Marilyn Shlake from UNL Extension, via a zoom video conference, on questions for the survey.

A Creighton native, Becky Vogt, who is manager of Nebraska Rural Poll, will help craft the surveys.

The board plans to use responses to the surveys to develop goals for development in the city, including such things as a potential community center, possibly with an option for lodging. The board also proposes to gauge the economic impact alumni have on the community.

An LB840 steering committee has also been formed by Brent Eggerling, ED board chair. Committee members and city leaders will meet May 9 at City Hall, but not in open session, according to Norris. She said officials from Pierce and Osmond plan to attend.

Deb Eggleston of West Point, who works for Nebraska Department of Economic Development, will lead the meeting.

© 2019 The Creighton News . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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