Bill could make funding available for growth related to missile project

SIDNEY -- A Bill is before the Nebraska Legislature that could help Panhandle communities with the U.S. Air Force missile update program.

Sidney City Manager David Scott told the Sidney City Council Tuesday LB 712, introduced by Senators Brian Hardin (District 48) and Steve Erdman (District 47) introduced a bill first read January 18. The Bill calls for amending Section 84-612, Revised Cumulative Supplement, to include $26 million for areas affected by the missile development.

"While it is understood that much of these funds are meant for infrastructure in and around the Kimball area, we will also apply for funding here in Sidney and Cheyenne County," Scott said in a memo to the city council.

He stressed that the process has never been Kimball vs. Sidney; government officials favored Kimball as the primary location.

"With that being said, we tried to change that," he said.

Scott said Sidney officials met with U.S. Air Force representatives to encourage Sidney as a consideration. 

"There is nothing that says we won't be affected," he said. "Kimball is 100 percent on board. They can't do it alone."

Scott said Sidney and Kimball officials are working together for when the missile project begins including transportation between Kimball and Sidney. Scott said  it is believed the project will have 2,500 to 3,000 workers at its peak. Scott said there is the possibility some workers will want to move to the area with their families and have the Kimball to Sidney area as a home base until the project is completed.

The council approved submitting a letter of support.

"You can't underestimate how big an impact this will have," said Sidney Mayor Brad Sherman.

To view the latest on legislative action, see https://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=47343.