Geneva breaks ground on historic Genesis Drive project

GENEVA, NE — Construction work is set to start on a historic new development in Fillmore County.

Community and state leaders celebrated the groundbreaking for the Genesis Drive project in Geneva on Friday morning. The development at the intersection of Highway 81 and R Street will include a new truck stop and a 12-room motel.

Mayor Eric Kamler says the city is a prime spot for development.

“Well we’re right here on Highway 81, which has about 8500 vehicles a day and also just a very supportive community and a very business-friendly city council and administration here," Kamler said. "We’re very, very lucky to have a great team behind us to make all of this possible.”

Genesis Drive is the largest public-private partnership in Geneva's history, with nearly $3 million in private investment and $1 million in public infrastructure costs.

Lichti Brothers Oil Company of Shickley will operate the new Good2Go truck stop. President Tim Lichti says he has been talking with locals about  doing business there for years.

“We think that it really needs to have something out here on the bypass," Lichti said. "It’s just going to give the motoring public an option to stop here, plus we hope to pick up on a lot of the local business also.”

The motel will be owned by Walter Aschoff of Aschoff Construction in Osmond.

Kamler says the city’s costs are completely funded through sales tax dollars, specifically from LB 840 economic development funds. The city also plans to use Tax Increment Financing for the project.

“So in the end, it’s a great investment and good use of those sales tax dollars, which is what they were meant to be used for, on this new development here for a new amenity in Geneva,” Kamler said.

Kamler expects dirt work to be done in August and for the truck stop and motel to open next spring. By then, he hopes to announce new businesses for the next phases of the project, which could also include a new housing development.