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North Platte City Council approves Quality Growth Funds for beef plant and rail park

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Two major development proposals advanced to the next stage after the North Platte City Council approved Quality Growth Funds for the projects Tuesday.

The council approved a $500,000 performance-based Quality Growth Fund loan, as well as a NorthWestern Energy Economic Development loan for the same amount for Sustainable Beef, LLC. The loan would be forgiven when the plant reaches a $20 Million payroll.

Councilman Ty Lucas expressed concerns with the loan and asked for additional provisions to the funding in the event the project didn’t move forward. Lucas wanted a letter of credit to be filed with the City before construction begins and to remain in place until construction is 50% complete.

He also asked to cap NorthWestern’s forgivable loan period at five years. The council denied the request by a close 4-3 vote. Councilwoman Donna Tryon was absent from the meeting.

Council members voted 6-1 in favor of the NorthWestern loan and 5-2 for the Quality Growth Fund loan.

The council also unanimously approved an annual $200,000 Quality Growth Fund for the next 10 years for a proposed rail park near Hershey.