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(Neb)-Early Interest Lukewarm For Old NDOT Chadron Maintenance Complex   Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 11/20/2019 01:20 PM
CHADRON - The Nebraska Dept of Transportation is selling its former office-maintenance yard complex in Chadron, offering it first to other government entities - but isn't drawing a lot of interest.

     The complex, with a roughly square-block lot on the east side of Maple Street near 6th street and a smaller parcel on the west side, has been vacant since the opening in June of a new complex off Highway 20/385 just west of the Chadron cemetery.

     The Chadron school board essentially said no last week by taking no action and the Chadron City Council Monday night expressed reservations because the state hasn't done an environmental assessment for possible contamination and doesn't plan to do one.

      City Manager Greg  Yanker said the city has been talking with the department for more than a year about the state's long-term plans for the site and although the state won't do an environmental assessment it will support Chadron for a federal Brownfield grant for a study.

    If pollution is found - likely considering the state used the two parcels for decades for such things as storing salt and maintaining and fueling vehicles - federal grants to help with remediation would also be possible.

      Councilman Mark Werner seemed to sum up the feelings of his colleagues when he said the site has the potential for major development, but only if the city or some other buyer knows how much cleanup and remediation would be needed.

     PLAY SOUNDBITE

The larger parcel, which has multiple buildings, is appraised at $330,000 while the smaller parcel with no buildings is put at $40,000.

     In the end, the council unanimously voted to send the state a letter requesting that it extend the bidding period for the site to give the city time to do an environmental analysis using an EPA grant.

      The land is zoned residential but could remain grandfathered in for its past use if sold by the end of the year. City building and zoning officer Janet Johnson says as many as 10 single-family homes could be built on the big lot with duplexes or apartments likely on the smaller lot.


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