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City of Gothenburg earns over $2 million in funding for business, housing projects

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2022-06-23 EDCC Gothenburg with Lt GovernorWEB.jpg

Gothenburg Mayor Joyce Hudson with Lt. Gov. Mike Foley

LINCOLN — The City of Gothenburg, Neb. (pop. 3,469) has earned recognition from the State of Nebraska for ongoing developments in the community’s manufacturing and housing industries. This week, Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) announced the City’s recertification in Nebraska’s Economic Development Certified Community (EDCC) program. DED Business Development Consultant Ashley Rice-Gerlach joined Lt. Gov. Foley to honor local leaders during a special presentation on Wednesday, June 22. 

Gothenburg is one of 40 Nebraska communities to earn EDCC status in the program, sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and administered by DED. State officials established the EDCC program in 2005 to recognize communities for preparedness to attract new industries and grow existing businesses. As part of the certification process, qualifying communities must identify a well-defined program that actively engages with their existing business community to offer a supportive environment for economic development. This includes documenting available sites and buildings, supporting local financing and incentive programs and initiating strategic planning. The City of Gothenburg received its first EDCC certification in 2007 and earned recertifications in 2010, 2016 and 2021.

Over the past five years, Gothenburg leaders have expanded their community’s strong relationships with the State of Nebraska and DED, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) and West Central Nebraska Development District (WCNDD). Dawson Area Development (DAD), Gothenburg Improvement Company (GIC) and City officials work together to promote housing and industrial development and attract new businesses, which have resulted in successful economic projects assisted through regional and state partnerships.

The community welcomed the expansion of Iowa-based Curbtender, Inc. in 2019, which established the garbage truck compacter manufacturer’s first Nebraska location. The company purchased the former Baldwin Filters building following GIC’s acquisition of the property and complements Gothenburg’s strong manufacturing presence established by Parker Hannifin, Wearparts, Gothenburg Feed Products and Dayton Phoenix.

“GIC appreciates the chance to work with property owners to optimize local opportunities for economic development,” said GIC President Nate Wyatt. “Marketing Baldwin’s former facility was an important part of our efforts to recruit and welcome Curbtender to our community, and we are excited about the company’s continued decision to invest in Nebraska.”

Officials from the Cities of Gothenburg and Cozad, GIC and DAD have worked extensively to create housing development opportunities through successful partnerships with NIFA and the State of Nebraska. Leadership from both cities resulted in an $850,000 award from the state’s Rural Workforce Housing Fund (RWHF) to build single and family owner-occupied homes and rental housing units. The City and NIFA played essential roles in establishing RWHF assistance by contributing matching funds.

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Four new RWHF homes were recently completed in Gothenburg’s Crossing Second Subdivision, which is one of two subdivisions established by the City’s approval of $1.4 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Over the past 24 months, 11 total homes were constructed in Gothenburg and Cozad.

“As leaders from Dawson Area Development and Gothenburg Improvement Company continue to prioritize development within the area’s top industries, they understand that housing opportunities are crucial to help create and retain jobs,” said Lt. Gov. Foley. “Gothenburg’s unique regional partnerships have contributed to considerable growth in the community and have complemented its success as one of central Nebraska’s first EDCC’s.”

DAD remains highly focused on job retention efforts in Dawson County. DAD recently utilized CARES Act funding via WCNDD for customized employee training. Local business owners were offered a variety of course options to share with employees, including marketing skills, customer service and logic control training. DAD consistently prioritizes student engagement with local business leaders by hosting annual career fairs and mini-industry tours. In 2021, Dawson Public Power District shared its mobile STEM lab with students in the county’s school districts. 

In 2019, the National Civic League recognized the City of Gothenburg as one of 10 All-American Cities for local leaders’ work in inclusive civic engagement. Gothenburg represented the smallest community in the annual group of award winners and emphasized the community’s “All Means All” philosophy, which encourages the City’s emphasis on stakeholder engagement for local development.

Community collaboration played an important role in the development of Gothenburg Health’s $29.5 million facility which includes a health and wellness center. The YMCA building includes a high school regulation-size gym, four-lane swimming pool, second floor walking track and educational space. 

“Gothenburg is a community that gets the job done no matter what,” said GIC Housing Director RobynGeiser. “Our community leaders believe in the work that they do, and in making their community the very best possible place to live.” 

For additional information on the Economic Development Certified Community Program, Contact Ashley Rice-Gerlach at 308-655-0919 or ashley.gerlach@nebraska.gov, or visit https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/programs/community/edcc/.

Lt. Gov. Mike Foley celebrates City of Gothenburg as a 15-year member of Nebraska’s Economic Development Certified Community program.

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