City of Lincoln
2009 Media Releases
Mayor Chris Beutler today said a proposed "Roads to Jobs" fund lacks the flexibility needed for Lincoln's job creation efforts. City Council member Ken Svoboda has a resolution on Monday's City Council agenda to establish the fund with $8 million in the seldom used Special Assessment Revolving Fund.
"I agree that we need a fund to help businesses expand or locate in Lincoln, but roads are only one part of economic development picture," said Mayor Beutler. "Our efforts must be tailored to the needs of the individual companies. Right now, our greatest obstacle in attracting new business is the lack of job creation incentives the City can use to help compete with other communities across the nation. If the money was placed in a more flexible fund, we could help solve this problem."
The Mayor said he is willing to work with Svoboda and the Council to expand the proposal beyond just roads to better fit the City's economic development needs.
Beutler said a new job creation fund would complement the urban growth bill recently signed by Governor Heineman. The bill, sponsored by Lincoln Senator Amanda McGill, allows cities to create urban growth districts on their edges. The estimated sales tax revenues generated within a district can be pledged for debt service on an urban growth bond, and the bond proceeds would used to fund a broad range of infrastructure needs, including roads.
"A fund that simply focuses on roads is too narrow," Beutler said. "We need to maximize the use of these one-time funds with a focus on the economic long-term future of our community. I would like to work with the Council to make this a fund that will really create jobs."