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North Platte horse-racing track proposal put on hold, for now

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A proposed horse-racing track will have to wait after North Platte city officials request more information.

The proposal was expected to go before the planning commission for a public hearing Tuesday, but it was pulled at the request of the developer.

Prospect Enterprises LLC applied for a conditional use permit for the proposed 74-acre horse-racing track and possibly a casino along East Walker Road and Interstate 80.

The developers said the project will bring additional traffic, revenue, and jobs to the community. However, some are concerned about the possible increase in gambling.

Brent Burklund, City Engineer, would like the developer to know that city utilities, including water, sewer and electric are in the vicinity; however, these services will need to be extended at the developers cost according to city regulations. Street improvements will also need to be paid for and a development agreement be provided as part of the issuance of the conditional use permit.

It’s still possible the proposal could go before the planning commission board and the city council at a later date.

In other business, the board also advanced a housing development project.

DDM Land Management LLC is looking to build 100 units that contain a mixture of single and multi-family housing units on East Philip Avenue and Bicentennial Boulevard.

“Back in 2017, I started looking at this and just timing is everything,” said developer Dan McKeon. “Since I am not living in North Platte any more, too, it’s a little bit more distance from Kearney to come up all of the time, but I think it’s an opportunity for North Platte to grow and have the residential out there.”

Although this project includes a green space for a playground, board member Emily Wurl said she would like to see more of those included with future housing development plans.

The city council will take up the proposal at their July 6 meeting.

“Speaking from the housing standpoint, the demand, maybe, has never been greater for several years here and that’s evidence by the fact that what we see currently on the market,” said Gary Person, North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation President and CEO. “We don’t see many developers looking at single-family housing right now. We have several looking at multi-units and are in the process of building multi-units, but we certainly need more single-familly housing. I think you can ask any realtor in town and they will tell you the same thing.”