NORFOLK, Neb. -- With an eye on what the project could potentially be, a large crowd of Norfolk residents gathered to discuss their thoughts and concerns about the Norfolk City Council's West Highway 275 Phase II Area Study Monday night.
The study was conducted by THE NORTHEAST NEBRASKA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT WHICH DETERMINED THE AREA WAS SUBSTANDARD AND BLIGHTED. If the study were approved by the city council, tax increment financing could be used to redevelop the area.
Once the study was completed Norfolk City Council approved a motion to forward the results to the Norfolk Planning Commission on May 17. Then on June 8, the Planning Commission held a public hearing to hear comments on and review the Blight and Substandard Determination Study for the West Highway 275 Phase II Area. After reviewing the study, the Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of declaring the West Highway 275 Phase II Redevelopment Area as blighted and substandard.
Many citizens came out to express their concerns about the survey. Many were concerned about how the study would affect their property as well as an area of land recently purchased by Ho-Chunk Inc. Many citizens feel that a casino built in the area would disturb others and was not the correct move for Norfolk. However, Ho-Chunk has not stated what they will build on the property nor have they submitted any proposals to the city of Norfolk. The city council also stated that not approving the study wouldn't stop Ho-Chunk from developing a casino in the future.
After hearing the concerns, statements, and questions from citizens the city council approved a motion to table the vote until their next meeting.