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Greetings Northeast Lincoln!
With the interim well underway, my office is continuing to work on our legislative resolution studies. I’ve also stayed busy attending meetings, interim study hearings, and of course, Nebraska football games.
Development in the District
As you have probably noticed, construction and development is all over District 26. One of the biggest projects is the 48th and Holdrege street area. The plaza containing the old Tastee Inn and Murphy’s Q.P. Hardware store fell into disrepair after the businesses closed. The 48th and Holdrege Redevelopment Project came to light after the area was officially declared blighted and substandard in May. The Lincoln City Council approved the five story, mixed-use project in May, and demolition and preparation of the space began this summer. The new space will include nearly 22,000 square feet of first floor retail and restaurant space and 98 residential units on the upper four floors. The project faces 48th street with parking behind and garages and landscaping along 49th street to buffer the development from the existing residential area to the east. Completion of the project is expected in August of next year. The area around 48th and Leighton is also getting a face lift. The site of the former HyVee Mainstreet store will, pending City Council approval, contain a mixed-use project with two new four- and five-story buildings, with about 28,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 180 apartments on the upper floors. Proposed changes also include ways to improve traffic flow and make the area pedestrian friendly. If the City Council votes to approve this project, construction could begin early next year.
Information from the City of Lincoln Urban Development Department Newsletter.
General Affairs Hearing
On October 11th, the General Affairs committee held a hearing on Legislative Resolution 567, introduced by State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks. The interim study was designed to examine and review the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay and the need for additional funding for law enforcement. Whiteclay is an unincorporated town which has four liquor stores that sell three and a half million cans of beer a year. Beer sales are primarily to residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where alcohol is banned. Senator Pansing Brooks introduced the resolution to the committee, and testifiers included representatives from the Liquor Control Commission, the Nebraska State Patrol, and the University of Nebraska-Medical Center. One testifier, a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder advocate, spoke on the importance of treatment and job centers in Whiteclay which could help to reduce the rate of infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome. One in four infants born on the Pine Ridge reservation are born with fetal alcohol syndrome, a rate far higher than the national average. As a result of the interim study and a recent trip several senators took to Whiteclay, Senator Pansing Brooks recommends the condemnation and removal of abandoned buildings, creation of a drug and alcohol treatment center in combination with a job training center, expansion of economic development in the area, and a state patrol substation located in Whiteclay with increased trooper presence to enforce the laws. I want to express my thanks to all who testified in an effort to find solutions, and to Senator Pansing Brooks for ensuring this issue is at the forefront of the Legislature’s attention.
Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Hearing
On October 13th, the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee met to discuss two interim hearings: LR 530, introduced by State Senator Sara Howard, and LR 504, introduced by State Senator John Murante. Senator Howard’s legislative resolution was introduced to examine the ongoing implementation of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 and related state law and policy. Senator Murante’s legislative resolution was introduced to examine the numerous deadlines involved in the election process.
Now that we have reached the interim, my office will keep you up-to-date with regular but less frequent newsletters. My staff will continue to be available to you during normal business hours. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (402) 471-2610 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.