Sidney City Manager David Scott promotes needs, opportunities with missile project

LINCOLN -- The updating of the missile system that spreads through much of western Nebraska into northeast Colorado and Wyoming will happen.

With it an estimated 3,000 workers temporarily living in the Kimball and surrounding area.

The hard question is what will the impact be to the communities.

LB 712 will offer financial assistance to communities impacted by the upgrade project. The Bill redirects funds to an account designed to assist communities impacted by the project. 

Sen. Brian Hardin (Gering),  is sponsoring LB712, a bill that would create the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Deployment Fund and transfer $26 million to it from the state’s Cash Reserve Fund. A grant program to distribute those funds would be administered by the office of the state’s adjutant general.

Sidney City Manager David Scott said Monday the trip to Lincoln was positive, but hard to predict. Each community representative had five minutes to present their case.

"We tried to tell a story," Scott said.

The story was of the assets of Sterling, and of Kimball; Scott visited the Unicameral with representatives of the Kimball community. Their story told of how the focal point might be at a specific spot, but the influence of the project is much wider.

The two communities are already working together on transportation projects, and housing will be impacted when the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent project gets underway.

Sidney's focus of concern is the housing and Interstate 80 region including the hotels, fuel sales food service.

"We have everything up there. It's like a small city," Scott said.

Scott said neither Kimball nor Sidney can quickly or efficiently handle the full impact of the project. Working together, with the support of the LB 712 and each community, the impact on the Panhandle can see positive growth in the project. 

"This is the best partnership I've had with a city," Scott said.

When legislators will decide on the $26 million proposal is still to be defined.

According to the Introducers Statement of Intent, LB 712 appropriates $26,000,000 to the "Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Deployment Fund" under the care of the Adjutant General. The “fund shall be used for grants to support incorporated municipalities and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of incorporated municipalities to address deficiencies in community infrastructure, transportation, schools, health care facilities, law enforcement and emergency response, recreation, or workforce development to support the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Deployment and Minuteman III Decommissioning and Disposal Accommodation if the State of Nebraska is selected as the site for the headquarters.”