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TIF study passes first public hearing after tie breaking vote by North Platte mayor

Homeowners expressed concerns about a proposed housing subdivision in their neighborhood at Tuesday’s North Platte City Council meeting.
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Homeowners expressed concerns about a proposed housing subdivision in their neighborhood at Tuesday’s North Platte City Council meeting.

Gil Wilkinson, owner of Wilkinson Development Inc,. purchased roughly 30 acres of land on Hackberry Road and Russian Olive Road in 1977. Wilkinson said with Sustainable Beef, LLC breaking ground soon, now is the time to make use of it.

“It just hasn’t been able to develop for us,” Wilkinson said. “Everybody is preaching housing and workforce housing. Now is the time.”

Marvin Planning Consultants was hired by Wilkinson to conduct a TIF study to see if the property qualifies for the blighted and substandard designation. Wilkinson plans to sell the lots to developers to build around 50 homes. Nonetheless, without the assistance from tax increment financing to help pay for the infrastructure, Wilkinson said he won’t be able to develop it.

However, long-time homeowners who live near the site aren’t fond of the idea. Eleven homeowners spoke out against the proposal during a public hearing, many of them expressing concerns about access along Eugene Avenue. They say adding an additional 50 to 60 homes would make it that much more unsafe. A few of them even expressed their dislike on the term “blighted and substandard.”

The council voted 4-4 on the designation. Mayor Brandon Kellliher broke the tie and voted in favor of continuing the process under the condition that the Wilkinsons will address the access issue along Eugene Avenue.