Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Kimball plans visioning workshop for the Longhorn

PADD seeks Brownfield applicants

 

November 22, 2018

Dakota Kuhns Western Nebraska Observer

The building that once housed the Longhorn Restaurant nows sits empty. It has undergone a Brownfields assessment and the City of Kimball will soon host a visioning workshop to discuss its fate.

As the Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) seeks applicants for Brownfield Assessment funds, Kimball begins the process of a local brownfield subject site – the Longhorn building.

According to a recent press release, PADD received funds from the Environmental Protection Agency to assist communities throughout the panhandle to redevelop potential brownfield sites.

Brownfield properties are those that may have, or have been proven to have, any hazardous substance which would make redevelopment or reuse of the property difficult or dangerous.

In some cases these may be old factories, packing plants or other industrial buildings that could contain leftover products or byproducts from its original use.

Or, as in Kimball's case, the building may simply be old enough to have been built with hazardous materials once deemed safe, such as asbestos or lead paint, or may contain dangerous molds.

The funds will assist with two-phase assessments on properties. Phase one considers the historical use of the property and can give the owner or a prospective buyer a recommendation on whether more testing is necessary, according to the news release.

Phase two assessments, implemented if further testing is required, determines the presence of pollutants or hazardous materials through additional testing.

Information gathered during these assessments provides property owners or prospective buyers full disclosure and may help sell or redevelop the property.

PADD is ready to assist property owners and interested buyers with Phase I and Phase II site assessments, according to the news release. Interested property owners should contact PADD to complete an access agreement and a Brownfields funding application. Following review and acceptance of the application, the next step is either environmental site assessments for property owners or redevelopment visioning for communities.

Kimball has begun the redevelopment visioning on the Longhorn building. This is a tool for communities to plan for new uses and additional redevelopment resources, according to the press release.

The visioning workshop is planned for Monday, Dec. 10, beginning at 9 a.m., at the Kimball Event Center.

The day will begin with a brief Brownfield presentation followed by a presentation of Kimball's subject site – the Longhorn.

Redevelopment examples will be presented and those in attendance will be encouraged to discuss the examples and ideas, including sources of support for the redevelopment.

The day will end with a brief discussion summarizing the process and big picture concepts.

The public is invited to attend and urged to be a part of the future of downtown Kimball.

For more information on Brownfields assessment funding, contact Megan Koppenhafer, Community Planner at PADD at 308-633-6829 or at megank@nepadd.com.

For more information about the Longhorn building or the upcoming visioning workshop, contact Amy Sapp, City of Kimball Special Projects Coordinator, at 308-235-3639 or via email at econdev@kimballne.org.

 

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