NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The North Platte City Council gave its second-round approval for the Platte River Mall $75 million renovation on a 4 to 3 vote.
On Tuesday, council members approved the use of tax increment financing (TIF) and a temporary 1.95% occupation tax (EEA) on to redevelop the 28-acre mall complex.
REV Development of Lincoln is behind the project. They plan to redesign the 49-year-old structure into a outward strip mall and could potentially create upwards of 620 full and part-time jobs.
“As a manager, I can also share that my average dollar sales for my customers is about $70, making ten trips a year $700,” said Maurces Manager Sheila Bigelow. “Most of my customers are going to spend $14 a year to have this new development, so when you actually break down the math and see that it’s a very small amount for each person to contribute to having something new and exciting in our community, I think it’s something that we’re all willing to do.”
REV hopes to recover $8 million in infrastructure through TIF.
“Whether you do or don’t like the enhanced employment area (EEA) or whether you like TIF or not, it’s somewhat irrelevant,” said Ivan Mitchell, a supporter of the project “If big communities like Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney and bigger than ours can’t put in place a development without these tools, whether you oppose them or not personally, essentially, by not allowing that to come to our community, you’re kind of cutting the throat of your own community and you’re taxing your patrons twice because now we have to travel to go out and shop somewhere else. So whether you like it or not, I would appeal to you to vote for this. You can still personally oppose it, but I would recommend that you try to oppose that at the state or at the national level because all we are doing is hurting our community by not utilizing its tools and resources.”
“I think that this project is a wonderful,” said councilman Ed Rieker. “I think it’s needed for our community. I’m excited about it and I’m glad to see you folks that are doing this. I think it’s going to be a great asset to our town.”
Councilman Rieker, Mark Woods and councilwoman Donna Tryon voted against the proposal. The council is expected to give third and final vote at their June 1 meeting.