Downtown Beatrice has been a location of strong community growth of late, however, there are still major challenges to be faced as it relates to building conditions at a handful of properties.
Main Street Beatrice & The City of Beatrice have been contemplating potential strategies to address these challenges that face our community and have the potential to negatively impact those who are doing great things in our community.
The plan being put forth, while not a perfect solution, appears to be the best route forward. We encourage our downtown building & property owners that have concerns to please let us know.
Below are a few links that we hope help to understand what is being considered:
Here is the letter submitted by Main Street Beatrice to downtown property and business owners dated 11/13/19.
Here is a summary of the ordinance as provided by City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer for the City Council’s November 4th meeting.
In 2016 the City adopted the Adjoining Building Ordinance. As with most laws, after using it for a couple of years you discover parts that you would like to amend. The proposed amendments to the adjoining building ordinance are as follows:
- Clarify that registration of adjoining buildings is required.
- Establish that the registration runs from January 1st to December 31st.
- Provide that the registration fee shall be waived if the owner provides proof of insurance.
- Requires that all adjoining buildings are inspected annually; however, if the building is found to be compliant, is properly registered, and provides proof of insurance then the building will be inspected every four (4) years. Except in the case of an emergency or visual observations pursuant to another applicable city code.
- States that the inspection will focus on foundation, walls, floors, joists, ceiling, and roofs.
To go along with the new proposed adjoining building ordinance we have learned that the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Re-use funds can be used for rehabilitation activity that will correct code violations and enable a business to survive and retain jobs. At least 51% of the jobs created or retained must be made available to or held by low-to-moderate income (LMI) persons.
Generally, this requires the applicant to fill out one (1) additional sheet of paper when they apply for the job. The business then reviews the applications of the LMI individuals first. If they find an employee great. If not, the business then reviews the applications of the non-LMI individuals. The business then submits the additional sheet of paper and a job creation and retention summary sheet to the City quarterly.
Since these are CDBG Re-use loan funds the building owner or business owner would have to follow the City’s CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Reuse Plan.
- Must be an eligible business.
- Must be an eligible activity.
- Can be a loan, grant, or some of each.
- Max of $35,000 per job created or retained.
- Applications go before the Citizen Advisory Review Committee (CARC) and then City Council.
- Applicants have to submit financial statements to the City. They are not made public. The City Administrator reviews the financial statements.
Finally, the City is exploring the possibility of becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG). Being a CLG would provide the City to apply for grants to assist in surveys, National Register nomination preparation, demolition review of historic properties, publications, workshops and events.
Please note the definition of an adjoining building was modified.
Update from 12/2/19 – The Beatrice City Council unanimously voted to approve the revisions to the adjoining building ordinance.