NC City Council approves extension of economic development loan

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

The Nebraska City City Council agreed to a two-year extension on an economic development loan for a local business that is having difficulty finding and keeping qualified employees.

In September 2019, the council agreed to a $400,000 loan from the Nebraska City Economic Development Revolving Loan Funds (NCEDRLF) to Gregory Welding.

Gregory Welding requested the loan extension because one condition of the loan is that the company hire and retain at least 11 full-time-equivalent employees, and more than half of those employees should be low- to moderate-income individuals.

Representatives of Gregory Welding contacted the NCEDRLF in late August to request an extension on the loan, said Dan Mauk, NCEDRLF administration, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, the state’s low unemployment rate, and other factors that have made it difficult for the company to hire and retain qualified employees. 

According to NCEDRLF meeting minutes, company representatives told the NCEDRLF committee that they plan to advertise with Workforce Development, to work with community college vocational training programs, and to reach out to service members returning from overseas deployment or transitioning out of the service to increase their chances of finding and keeping employees. 

Mauk told the council that the company is and has been current in making its loan payments.

During the Sept. 20 meeting, the council also

Passed a motion to purchase the city’s general liability insurance with EMC for $208,108 per year. The council had to find a new insurer for the city after Berkshire Hathaway announced it would no longer provide insurance to cities as of Sept. 30, according to Scott Miller, the city’s insurance broker; and

Refinanced the $1.7 million General Obligation Bonds associated with the South 11th Street Project to take advantage of a lower interest rate. The previous interest rate was 3.46 percent, while the new rate is 1.37 percent, which will save the city about $256,000 over the term of the bond, said Nebraska City City Administrator Lou Leone.

The next regularly scheduled Nebraska City City Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, in the Gary White Memorial Room/Council Chambers of the Rowe Memorial Public Safety Complex, 1518 Central Ave.