Council approves contract for due diligence project pertaining to new city-owned industrial land

YORK – The York City Council has approved a contract with Olsson Inc., costing a maximum of $35,000, for a due diligence/master planning project pertaining to the new 200 acres of city-owned industrial land.

The council agreed to purchase the land last week, which is in the northwest area of the city’s footprint. The new industrial park is near the landfill, along the railroad and Highway 81.

The land was purchased after the city sold out the original industrial park and shortly thereafter also sold out the second industrial park located just east of the Nebraska Public Power district operations center.

When city-owned property is sold to private investors, that money is returned to a land acquisition fund which is then later used to purchase more industrial land. That was the case here, as it has historically been – the money to purchase the new industrial land was available due to past sales.

Olsson will work to provide a myriad of concise, accurate information about the new property which can be used for marketing purposes with the end point being selling it for private enterprise.

“I’m excited about this,” said York County Development Corporation Director Lisa Hurley. “They (Olsson) have the resources to provide businesses with accurate information, as they did on the last industrial park. They provided many items of information that allowed me to quickly respond when there were inquiries about the property. They gave us many maps, concepts, these types of study will remove a number of questions about the utility needs will be as well as delays. Olsson already has a good overview of the city’s industrial utility capabilities. And the information will include a lot coming from many different partners, such as NPPD, Black Hills energy, the city utility department, and others.”

She said one piece which is important right now is completing the wetland report – the deadline for this work is this fall. “This is an important deadline to keep in mind and their environmental team will do it, as soon as this agreement is signed. It is important we start before the end of the fiscal year. The biggest time constraint we are facing right now is completing the wetland delineation by the deadline. Oct. 31 is the official due date for wetland delineations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We have been advised the environmental team will need time to schedule and complete their site visit in this timeline and they can’t do that until they have the contract and notice to proceed.”

“We can either get the information up in front or chase it around when there is a question,” Mayor Barry Redfern said. “It would be silly to not have all that information ready to go, up front.”

“I completely agree,” Hurley said. “When people/businesses/entities ask questions about that property, it will be available immediately, and it will be detailed information about all types of technical things, like utilities, flow measures, electrical availability, the things companies are asking for. This is so important because we have to have it so we can immediately respond when there is interest.”

“This becomes part of the expense of having the land,” Redfern said.

As an example, the last 36 acres of industrial land owned by the city sold fast because this type of information was available – because Olsson had been hired by the city to do the due diligence study ahead of time.

This will be a 6-month process between data collection; city, partner and stakeholder input; and the studies/planning that will need to be completed.

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