Residents of Hartington, Neb. (pop. 1,533) have dedicated themselves to creating a flourishing community, capable of seemingly anything. Through the use of surveys, leadership retreats, and town hall meetings, Hartington has completed more than 30 projects during the past five years. These efforts earned the community a prestigious Honorable Mention as part of the Governor’s 2012 Showcase Community awards.
The mission of this community is to improve the lives of citizens by providing proactive leadership that perpetuates short- and long-term sustainable economic growth. Hartington recognized that job opportunities are vital to this growth and looked for ways to invest in one promising company, TrailManor Manufacturing Company, LLC. In planning for this investment, a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was identified as a source of funding. In February 2012, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) awarded $505,000 in CDBG funding to assist TrailManor in renovating a facility located on the western edge of town. Additional funding for this project was made possible by TrailManor Manufacturing, Cedar Security Bank, the City of Hartington’s LB840 fund, Northeast Economic Development Inc, and Cedar-Knox Public Power Loan Fund.
TrailManor Manufacturing Co., LLC designs, manufactures, assembles and laminates light- weight recreational travel trailers. The CDBG funding went towards building renovations, equipment costs, inventory and working capital, as well as administrative-related costs. The project will ultimately create 20 full-time jobs, of which 51 percent will be made available to low- and moderate-income persons. “We welcome this new company into our fold and look forward to its future growth and development,” said Catherine Lang, DED director.
Additional ongoing projects include the renovation of downtown Hartington. The community is looking to improve infrastructure by updating aging sidewalks, water mains, the sanitation system, and streetlights. DED awarded Hartington $29,900 in CDBG funds for the Phase I Planning of the project. Phase II, the Implementation phase, will include $350,000 of CDBG funds and is scheduled to finish by October 2013.
Through teamwork and perseverance, Hartington residents will continue to benefit from these projects made possible by CDBG funding. “This size of the project would not have been feasible without the CDBG assistance for infrastructure improvements,” stated Candice Alder from the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District.