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Fremont rejects mall's $500,000 loan request for improvements

Posted at 4:15 PM, Apr 26, 2018

The Fremont Mall took another hit earlier this week when the Fremont City Council voted down a proposal to give the mall a $500,000 loan in order to make improvements. 

The mall had requested a forgivable economic development loan in order to make the mall more attractive to potential retail tenants, like Dunham's Sports.

One of the city council members said he voted against the proposal because he didn't want to use taxpayer money to lure in a potential tenant. 

"Do I want the mall to succeed, of course I do, do I want the mall to grow? Yes. I want to do anything I can to help the mall grow. But I just couldn't see spending $500,000 of the taxpayers money on a $800,000 project, that could be $800,000 to 1.2 million," said Fremont City Councilman Mark Legband.

The tenant discussed at the city council meeting was national sporting goods store, Dunham's Sports. But in the handful of stores in the Fremont Mall, there's already a sporting goods store, Nebraska Sports. 

"That one I was a little torn on because do I like competition, heck yes, and I think if there's to already here,if we add a third sporting goods store I think it would help with the competition do I want to see any of them struggle, no," said Legband. 

Many residents also questioned this loan who didn't want any of their tax money going towards the mall. 

"If they give money to renovate the mall why don't they give my business money," said Fremont resident Greg Smith. 

Mall representatives said earlier this month they expected to announce a major tenant soon.