Big Apple Fun Center go-karts

Big Apple Fun Center is considering building a 23,500-square-foot indoor go-kart track, and on Tuesday will ask the Kearney City Council to OK tax-increment financing to help pay for the project, which would increase the tax value of the funplex by an estimated $2.6 million. Above, Big Apple employee Nathan Hakl scoots around a turn.

KEARNEY — Apple Fun Center Inc. is considering building a 23,500-square-foot indoor go-kart track, and will ask the Kearney City Council on Tuesday to approve tax-increment financing for the project.

Apple Fun Center Inc. operates Big Apple Fun Center at 500 W. Fourth St. in south Kearney. The funplex includes an outdoor go-kart track.

The indoor go-kart facility would be built south of Fourth Street and west of Third Avenue.

According to a memo to the City Council from City Finance Director Wendell Wessels, the current assessed value of the Big Apple Fun Center is $2.3 million. The total new valuation of the property would increase by $2.6 million if the indoor go-kart facility is completed, bringing the value of the funplex to $4.9 million.

The building would be pre-engineered, steel-framed and metal-sided. The interior would be drywalled, with exposed concrete flooring and a painted ceiling. The facility would be heated and air conditioned and have a fire sprinkler system. A storage mezzanine would be located above the maintenance shop.

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Wessels said the Community Redevelopment Authority voted on Sept. 19 to recommend that the go-kart project be granted 90 percent of the annual increment in real estate taxes, not to exceed the lesser of $633,489, or the certified eligible project costs during a 15-year period.

Tax increment financing, or TIF, is a subsidy designed to use increased property taxes from a newly developed area to pay for streets, sidewalks and other public infrastructure associated with the development.

TIF often is used to finance the redevelopment of blighted or substandard areas in cities where development has stalled. This puts new structures in the development area, which increases property values and helps city growth.

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