Creighton honored as Leadership Certified Community

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Creighton honored as Leadership Certified Community

Creighton honored as a Leadership Certified Community

Members of the city council and economic development board along with Megan Knox, Co ED and Abigail Creighton ED staff. Back row: Bob Jensen, Megan Hanefeldt, Maryanne Block, Michael Nutting, Brent Eggerling Front row: Drew Nelson, Abigail Frank, Mayor Chris Patrick, Jessi Sanborn

Community earns LCC recognition by focusing on business retention and downtown revitalization

NOVEMBER 10, 2016 (LINCOLN, NEB.)— The Department of Economic Development (DED) has recognized Creighton, Neb. (pop. 1,105) as a Leadership Certified Community in the state of Nebraska. DED Field Service Manager, Sheryl Hiatt, honored community leaders during a special presentation at Creighton’s City Council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Creighton is the 17th Nebraska community to qualify for DED’s Leadership Certified Community Program (LCC), created in 2011 to help smaller Nebraska communities adapt to ongoing changes and opportunities in economic development. Qualifying communities must demonstrate an understanding for and preparedness in strategic and community planning, as well as display readiness in technological development to help new and existing businesses grow. Certified communities earn designation in the program for five years and are required to update and maintain information and websites.

“I could not be more pleased to work with Abigail and the Creighton community on the Leadership Designation,” said Megan Hanefeldt, Executive Director of Knox County Development Agency (KCDA). “It’s wonderful to see the great work going on in Creighton from the inside out. The community of Creighton should be proud of all their accomplishments and continue to strive to work together to build a strong, solid community.”

Abigail Frank, Creighton Economic Development Director, appreciates the support she has received, “this application process would not have been made possible without the support of city officials and staff, the Creighton Economic Development Board, the assistance of Lowell Schroeder, Community Planner with Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, Megan Hanefeldt, Knox County Director, and Nicole Sedlacek with NPPD. Sheryl Hiatt and Kelly Gewecke, of DED, have been a great assistance when a question was asked or with clarification of the leadership application. I highly recommend Economic Development Directors new in the field take on the challenge of learning every dynamic of their communities. The application process was eye opening in the aspect of community involvement and the amount of participation it takes to be on boards and volunteer time towards events. The application process helped with further developing Creighton’s strategic plan and opportunity to learn about partnerships across Northeast Nebraska and throughout the state.”

The city of Creighton is currently working on submitting Phase II application for a Community Development Block Grant Downtown Revitalization grant. Earlier this year they completed a planning phase which was estimated at $39,300. If awarded the Phase II grant, the total project cost will be approximately $455,000.

A lot of growth has happened in the past year for various businesses and industries.

  • Creighton Bomgaars expanded with a 50′ x 120′ and a 12′ x 12′ addition of work shed. This will meet the needs of Knox County residents.
  • Local business owner Erik Burns bought West-Hodson Lumber Co. which is now called Burn’s Lumber.
  • The Channel Seed dealership is now known as Midwest Seeds and is locally owned and operated by Garrett Carpenter, Tyler Fuchtman, and Kevin Rohrer.
  • C-Mart completed a renovation. The store poured new cement which has expanded the parking lot.
  • The Ames Family took over ownership of the local cafe, The Whip.
  • Creighton welcomed Dr. Sanborn as a new dentist for Family First Dental.
  • The Rader family purchased Dave’s Feed Service store which is now called Rader Feed & Supply LLC.
  • The Nelsons purchased the Big Red Bottle shop.

Over the past two years some improvements have been made to the Creighton’s city office. A new finance software system has been implemented in the city office, two new offices were renovated, and insulation was installed in the city shop.

Currently the city is undergoing a Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project. The study included the drainage issues Creighton has been experiencing. The project is estimated to cost $752,221.50. This project will be completed by July 2017 with Midlands Contracting doing the work.

This past summer thirty city blocks were updated with armor coating. The project was completed by Figgins Construction Co. for $49,439. This will help maintain the streets. Creighton residents will soon see brand new street signs around town. This project has been budgeted for $20,000.

Informational meetings and discussion of LB 840 have begun. DED field staff consultant Deb Eggleston was present last month to facilitate this meeting.

For information about the Leadership Certified Community Program,
contact Kelly Gewecke at, 308-627-3151, or visit

Media Contact Kate Ellingson at 1-800-426-6505, 1-402-471-3749 or email