L to R Back: Bob Jensen (Council Member), Megan Hanefeldt (Knox County Economic Development Director), MaryAnne Block (Council Member), Mike Nutting (Council Member), Brent Eggerling (Chairperson Economic Development Board). L to R Front Row Drew Nelson (Council President), Abigail Frank (Creighton Economic Development Director), Chris Patrick (Mayor), Dr. Jessica Sanborn (Economic Development Board Member).
The City of Creighton became the first Knox County community to be designated a Leadership Certified Community.
On Thursday night during the City Council meeting, the Department of Economic Development (DED) recognized Creighton with the recognition. DED Field Service Manager Sheryl Hiatt honored community leaders.
Creighton is the 17th Nebraska community to qualify for DED’s Leadership Certified Community Program (LCC), created in 2011 to help smaller Nebraska communities adapt to ongoing changes and opportunities in economic development.
Qualifying communities must demonstrate an understanding for and preparedness in strategic and community planning, as well as display readiness in technological development to help new and existing businesses grow. Certified communities earn designation in the program for five years and are required to update and maintain information and websites.
"I could not be more pleased to work with Abigail and the Creighton community on the Leadership Designation,” said Megan Hanefeldt, Executive Director of Knox County Development Agency (KCDA). “It's wonderful to see the great work going on in Creighton from the inside out. The community of Creighton should be proud of all their accomplishments and continue to strive to work together to build a strong, solid community.”
Abigail Frank, Creighton Economic Development Director, appreciates the support she has received, “this application process would not have been made possible without the support of the Creighton Economic Development Board, the assistance of Lowell Schroeder, Community Planner with Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, Megan Hanefeldt, Knox County Director, Nicole Sedlacek with NPPD, City of Creighton staff and City Council members. Sheryl Hiatt and Kelly Gewecke, of DED, have been a great assistance when a question was asked or with clarification of the leadership application. I highly recommend Economic Development Directors new in the field take on the challenge of learning every dynamic of their communities. The application process was eye opening in the aspect of community involvement and the amount of participation it takes to be on boards and volunteer time towards events. The application process helped with further developing Creighton's strategic plan and opportunity to learn about partnerships across Northeast Nebraska and throughout the state.”
The City of Creighton is currently working on submitting Phase II application for a Community Development Block Grant Downtown Revitalization grant. Earlier this year they completed a planning phase which was estimated at $39,300. If awarded the Phase II grant, the total project cost will be approximately $455,000.
A lot of growth has happened in the past year for various businesses and industries.
Over the past two years some improvements have been made to the Creighton’s city office. A new finance software system has been implemented in the city office, two new offices were renovated, and insulation was installed in the city shop.
Currently the city is undergoing a Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project. The study included the drainage issues Creighton has been experiencing. The project is estimated to cost $752,221.50. This project will be completed by July 2017 with Midlands Contracting doing the work.
This past summer thirty city blocks were updated with armor coating. The project was completed by Figgins Construction Co. for $49,439. This will help maintain the streets. Creighton residents will soon see brand new street signs around town. This project has been budgeted for $20,000.
Informational meetings and discussion of LB 840 have begun. DED field staff consultant Deb Eggleston was present last month to facilitate this meeting.