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Gretna City Council tables special election vote for Good Life District program indefinitely

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jul 03, 2024

GRETNA, Neb. (KMTV) — Tuesday night, the Gretna City Council voted unanimously to table a vote to have a special election indefinitely.

Mayor Mike Evans said the company involved with the Good Life District came to council and the unexpected delay came at the request of the group developing the Good Life District.

"I think I was a little surprised that we didn't move ahead because at that point I didn't understand some of the concerns," said Evans.

The vote had already been delayed on June 18. That came at the recommendation of the state. A statement from the Department of Economic Development, said in part "There were some questions about elements of the public vote that were unclear. In that light, it seemed prudent to pause..."

The special election would have voters deciding on a local sales tax that would replace about half of the state's sales tax collected in the Good Life District. That local tax money would then go towards more growth like construction and infrastructure in the area.

Rod Yates is one of the developers in the Gretna area who wants to see the district go in near Interstate 80 and Highway 31.

Grand Island is also developing a Good Life District. It would take over 800 acres of land and unlike Gretna, the Grand Island City Council members did vote to have an August special election. The Good Life District there would feature everything from hotels to sports complexes.

"It's growth. Growth benefits cities. If it brings in tourism, that will in turn bring in retail sales and the sales tax that comes with that," said Grand Island City Administrator Laura McAloon.

Evans is looking for that same result for Gretna, even if it means going a little slower.

"I really want to make sure we drive this to be a great project and make sure we get it right," said Evans.

Evans said the council could vote to hold a special election this fall.

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