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'Do I have to move or not': Neighbors question leaders about Airport Business Park plan

Posted at 1:21 AM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 02:21:40-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — For the first time, neighbors were able to ask questions about the plan for a business park near Eppley Airfield. But after nearly two hours many still walked out the door wondering what was next.

"That's what I was wanting to hear, do I have to move or not," said Racheal Hoefker.

I met Racheal Hoefker and Justin Ryley earlier this month, outside of their home in East Omaha.

They came to the meeting like many wanting to know more and get their questions answered.

Those questions had to be submitted online or written down in person, but that didn't stop the community from speaking up.

"I say all of us stop the contract and we stand up to the billionaires,” said North Omaha neighbor Robert Penn.

Penn said he submitted questions online. "And all this mute, they get to respond, that's insulting," Penn said.

Several topics were discussed including community engagement up to this point and the inland port authority.

"Was there anything in the meeting that you took away as helpful for moving forward?" reporter Molly Hudson asked. "I think what was helpful, in the end, I have a little closure in knowing that I am okay right at this moment, at this very moment,” Ryley said.

But for these two the fear remains, especially when it comes to the future for their kids.

Many neighbors asked for a timeline -- George Achola with Burlington Capital explained there is a preliminary timeline at the end of the master plan, but that has changed because the OEDC doesn't have the contract yet.

But he said there will be a new timeline shared sometime soon.