The Lincoln City City Council has approved a way forward toward a boost to the local economy.
With a half million dollars in what’s called “urban renewal funds” the field is open for public suggestions about how to spend that money to help promote a healthier city economy. What was referred to as the city’s economic development “tool box” contains these possibilities:
* Facade improvements for existing businesses
* Energy efficiency improvements for businesses
* Expansion funds for specific businesses
* Funds to provide for more child care
* “Downtown Manager” to help coordinate business expansion
* Promoting housing to be situated above businesses
* Assistance for residential upgrades, not just for commercial properties
* “Gap Funding” for various kinds of development
The City Council was told by Urban Renewal Director Alison Robertson that as the city promotes the program with a half-million dollar loan program to offer the private sector, any and all proposed projects coming from the public would be weighed and evaluated by the City Council before being selected. It also appeared that projects that are proposed to be built on public property would get greater consideration than projects envisioned for private properties.
In other council action it was decided that a project to replace the West Devil’s Lake Road bridge should not necessarily go to the lowest bidder. In light of the extreme strategic importance of the bridge leading to North Lincoln Hospital, it was decided that the lowest bidder for the job may not be the way to go. So the city will partner with ODOT in engineering the structure to make sure the bridge will hold up longer and withstand the stresses of heavy traffic, maybe even a big earthquake.
Construction should begin in either late Summer or early Fall.