Sustainable Beef LLC’s 1½-year-long quest to offer Nebraska cattle growers another meatpacking plant will reach its local climax at Tuesday’s North Platte City Council meeting.
After a public hearing, members will decide the fate of a redevelopment plan to sell a retired city sewer lagoon for the plant and provide $21.5 million in tax increment financing to help prepare it.
The 80-acre site sits about a mile west of the Platte River forks, at the south edge of North Platte’s wastewater treatment plant east of Newberry Access and south of Golden Road.
Sustainable Beef hopes to open a $325 million, 875-employee plant there in two years, processing 1,500 head a day supplied by at least 23 contracted cattle growers within a 200-mile radius.
Its sale-and-TIF request will be the last major agenda item during the 5:30 p.m. meeting in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St.
Residents can either attend or watch remotely on the city’s YouTube channel or Spectrum cable channel 180.
The text of Sustainable Beef’s proposal and a Creighton University economic analysis of the project, may be found online as part of Tuesday’s council “agenda book” at ci.north-platte.ne.us/government/city-council/agendas-minutes.
Creighton economist Ernie Goss has estimated the project by 2024 would yield a $1.16 billion annual economic impact and nearly 2,000 jobs, counting those from supporting businesses that would follow Sustainable Beef to North Platte.
Tuesday’s action will be the most decisive in a 16-month series of public hearings and votes by city panels on reuse of the former sewer lagoon, retired in 2019.
Except for the earliest ones, all took place after Sustainable Beef organizers publicly revealed their proposal March 18.
» The entire city wastewater plant was included in a long strip of land on Newberry’s east side that the City Council rezoned on Sept. 15, 2020, from light industrial to heavy industrial use.
Both the council and the Planning Commission, which backed the rezoning on Aug. 25, 2020, held public hearings before those initial votes.
No one discussed possible developers at either of those meetings. Sustainable Beef CEO David Briggs, also CEO of Alliance-based Westco Cooperative, said July 19, 2021, that project organizers had initially contacted the city in August 2020.
» A “substandard and blighted” study for the rezoned strip, plus the northeast side of Interstate 80’s Newberry exit, was submitted to the Planning Commission before Sustainable Beef’s announcement.
That panel voted March 23 to endorse the study. Its vote followed a public hearing, as did the council’s April 6 adoption of the study that made the land TIF-eligible.
In between, the council held a nonvoting “work session” April 1 for an initial review of possible beef plant impacts.
» Council members Aug. 3 approved a pair of $500,000 forgivable loans for project planning costs from the city’s Quality Growth Fund and the NorthWestern Energy Economic Development Fund.
Both loans can only be forgiven once Sustainable Beef proves it has successfully established a payroll of at least $20 million. The city’s five-member QGF Citizens Review Committee recommended the loans July 19. It took public comments before its vote, as did the council before its decision.
» Consideration of Sustainable Beef’s actual sale-and-TIF redevelopment plan began with an initial Community Redevelopment Authority meeting Nov. 2. The plan became public Oct. 26.
The five-member CRA took public comments before voting 5-0 to forward it to the Planning Commission. The latter panel held a public hearing Nov. 23 before voting 9-0 to recommend council approval.
Another 5-0 CRA vote Monday formally sent the request to the council with that panel’s positive recommendation.
If the council agrees Tuesday, the CRA will finalize a formal TIF contract with Sustainable Beef in early January, Chairman Mike Jacobson said Monday.
The redevelopment plan would sell the former lagoon to Sustainable Beef for $142,500 once organizers can prove they’ve completed financing and present a signed construction contract.
The price is based on an August appraisal by Jim Bain Appraisal Associates Inc. of North Platte. Because the site is now city property, its current taxable value is zero.
Organizers would have up to 15 years to recoup the sales price and about half of their TIF-eligible costs through property taxes generated by the project.
All but $3.5 million of the $21.5 million in TIF aid would help offset costs of site preparation — primarily the need to raise the 8- to 10-foot-deep lagoon’s base so the beef plant’s floor would be 5 feet higher than the centerline of Newberry Access.
The rest would help Sustainable Beef recover costs of installing city utilities — especially water and sewer services — and widening and paving Golden Road to handle employee and truck traffic.
Even if the council votes “yes” Tuesday, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy would have to license the eventual beef plant before its opening.
NDEE’s process also includes public comment and hearings. City officials have said the state agency would be responsible for referring Sustainable Beef’s project to federal agencies with environmental jurisdiction.
Rounding up all the developments on North Platte's proposed beef packing plant
Here's where to go to review The Telegraph's coverage of North Platte's proposed Sustainable Beef LLC beef processing plant since the project's public unveiling on March 18, 2021. Also included here are August and September 2020 stories on the city's rezoning of land east of Newberry Access, including what would become the beef plant's proposed site.
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With no debate and a unanimous Community Redevelopment Authority vote, Sustainable Beef LLC’s plan to build a meatpacking plant atop a retired…
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UPDATED, Dec. 3, 2021, 1:10 pm: Updated to reflect that all but $3.5 million of TIF aid would be related to site preparation.
The fledgling firm’s proposed redevelopment plan will be the sole agenda item when the nine-member panel convenes at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St.
The redevelopment plan would sell the inactive lagoon south and east of Newberry Access and Golden Road for $142,500 — but not until Sustainable Beef proves its $325 million in financing is complete and presents a signed construction contract.
Members of North Platte’s city government embarked on a journey to sniff out the truth of claims that North Platte’s proposed beef plant would not smell. They found that while there was an odor, it was far less pungent than they expected.
Sustainable Beef’s redevelopment plan will be the only agenda item when the five-member CRA meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St.
City officials released the $325 million project’s long-awaited particulars Tuesday as part of the formal TIF redevelopment plan submitted by Sustainable Beef’s Nebraska organizers.
It wasn’t the evening’s only QGF agenda item for the council, which also committed $200,000 a year over 10 years to help gain state matching funds for the proposed industrial “rail park” on the east edge of Hershey.
City Council members Tuesday approved the loans during a nearly two-hour meeting in which they also set aside Quality Growth Fund money to leverage state matching funds to build an industrial “rail park” outside Hershey.
They’ll be taken up early in the council’s first regular August meeting, set to start at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chamber at 211 W. Third St.
Loans of $500,000 apiece would come from the Quality Growth Fund and the separate NorthWestern Energy Economic Development Fund if the City Council agrees Aug. 3.
The 10 a.m. meeting in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St., is open to the public and will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel.
Officials with the Chamber and City of North Platte have said there won't be flooding issues if Sustainable Beef builds its plant in the city's old lagoon, but a resident who lives nearby sees it differently.
Beef plant organizers will seek $500,000 apiece toward planning and engineering costs from the Quality Growth Fund and the NorthWestern Energy Economic Development Fund.
A Buffalo County firm wants to rezone most of an open tract of land on North Platte’s east edge for 100 or more housing units, according to Tuesday night’s city Planning Commission agenda.
City staffers say it would cost about $4,200 to provide the same online and cable TV access to a City Council meeting at a different venue than they already have in place in the City Hall council chamber.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Rusty Kemp was about to be married before returning to his McPherson County ranching roots.
He’s only a decade removed from college, but Trey Wasserburger of rural North Platte has already experienced ranching’s highs and lows.
North Platte Police Chief Dan Hudson and Lexington Police Chief Tracy Wolf talk about some residents concern about the impact a proposed meatpacking plant could have on the crime rate when it is scheduled to open in 2023.
North Platte’s $500,000 state grant will be paired with $550,000 in local public and private funds to build upon the incentives for building single-family homes and apartments offered by the chamber since 2015.
Expanding Newberry (also known as Nebraska Highway L-56G) wouldn’t be the only road improvement facing local leaders if the 875-employee plant takes shape atop a retired sewer lagoon on the highway’s east side.
The future of the I-80 quadrant wasn’t on the minds of most of the hearing’s 20 speakers. They made it clear they see TIF status for the Newberry strip as the gateway to a meatpacking plant they don’t want.
A 374-acre strip of land along the east side of North Platte’s Newberry Access has been declared eligible for tax increment financing should a…
As when the planning panel met March 23, the evening’s two showcase items will be taken up toward the end of the 5:30 p.m. meeting in the City Hall council chamber at 211 W. Third St.
The evening’s 1½-hour City Council “work session” featured presentations from and council questions for a trio of key city and community leaders, including from North Platte Police Chief Daniel Hudson on crime concerns.
Members of the Community Redevelopment Authority will meet to review a mall redevelopment plan and City Council members will hold a nonvoting “work session” covering possible impacts of Sustainable Beef LLC’s planned 875-employee packing plant next to North Platte’s wastewater treatment plant.
Discussion of the project is the only agenda item for the work session, which will start at 5 p.m. in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St.
Despite last week’s announcement, Sustainable Beef has yet to present a formal proposal for either the planning panel or the council to consider, said Planning Administrator Judy Clark.
Planning Commission Chairwoman Marilyn McGahan reminded the overflow crowd that Tuesday’s meeting was only about whether the Newberry strip qualifies for TIF eligibility — not whether the beef plant should go there.
The city of North Platte will livestream tonight's 5:30 p.m. Planning Commission meeting, which includes items related to redevelopment of the…
Public hearings on five other items and a presentation of the city’s recently approved one- and six-year road plan will come first during the 5:30 p.m. meeting in the City Hall council chamber, 211 W. Third St.
Sustainable Beef LLC plans modified co-op with regional producers. The company CEO says salaries for line employees to average $50,000.
An ordinance making the changes won 7-1 final approval, the same margin by which the measure’s second draft was advanced Aug. 18 and Sept. 1.
The ordinance would replace the words “health inspector” with “building inspector” in 21 places. The city hasn’t employed a health inspector, who used to handle building health and safety matters, since 1981.
The commission also recommended changing the zoning of a long strip east of Newberry Access between U.S. Highway 30 and Interstate 80 from light industrial to heavy industrial.
A proposed 18-lot subdivision west of Lakeview Boulevard between Philip and A would not seek TIF funding.
The phrase “It’s not the end — it’s the beginning” appeared apt for North Platte’s beef-plant project after Tuesday’s decisive City Council vote.