Council Discusses More On Housing, Lake Feasibility Studies; Continue Possibilities Of Housing Development

WAYNE – A pair of presentations took up most of the regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

From the council chambers inside City Hall, two presentations took place pertaining to a housing study and lake feasibility study.

Over 700 community members responded to the city survey which enhanced the information provided by Hanna:Keelan Associates, PC. The company based in Lincoln also worked on the comprehensive plan and have been doing work for the City of Wayne for over 20 years.

A housing study is required by state statue every two years if the City of Wayne plans on using tax increment financing (TIF) for workforce housing.

Mayor Cale Giese had questions on student demand for housing with the historic growth at Wayne State College in recent years.

“Freshman class after freshman class seems to be a record,” said Mayor Giese. “I don’t think they’re accounting for that. I think they’re accounting for trend line growth over the last 10 years and not taking in consideration the record growth that’s taken place in the last three of four.”

Hanna:Keelan Associates, PC will be planning a trip to visit with city staff in the next month and a half to meet in person and go over further details of the housing study.

More information was then brought forward during a recent lake feasibility study at the old lagoon area by Olsson.

Although there wasn’t water 20 feet below the surface, suitable soils were found on site that can be used as a natural liner. Discussion was had about fresh water with the plan to use storm water.

A proposal of about $1.2 million for a 2.4 acre lake using storm water with the supplemental source being potable water was brought up.

City Administrator, Wes Blecke added councilmembers will be voting on this soon to pursue a lake or not.

“We need to start developing that area,” Blecke added. “You can’t really do it until you know if there’s going to be a 2.4 acre lake, is it going to be a one acre lake, is it going to be a five acre lake? I think those are some things that council still has to determine as well.”

More discussion will be needed on the size of the lake and what the lake will look like. The model created by Olsson can be adjusted to update numbers.

Councilmembers also voted to go with one developer to keep negotiating with on what the area for housing would look like.

Roughly 7.94 acres is located just north of the lagoon and south of fourth street by the Summer Sports Complex. In September, city staff began accepting proposals to possibly develop the property as two submissions came from Heritage Homes of Wayne and R Perry Construction from Sioux City, IA as council approved to go with the R Perry proposal being all multi-family.

Blecke added R Perry is looking at 144 units with about 300 bedrooms being about a $21 million investment.

“It can be done as soon as between two and a half to three years from now,” Blake mentioned. “Once they would break ground. We’re still a ways from that happening, but we’re moving towards that direction.”

R Perry will also be in Wakefield adding more housing in northeast Nebraska.

Previously referred to as College Hill Park where the old swimming pool was located will now have a name. Voices for Vision Coalition (VVC) came forward to council and proposed the idea of Freedom Park and councilmembers approved the name change. Another name that will need to be change is the “old lagoon park”.

Wayne City councilmembers then closed out the meeting by voting to retain Amy K Miller as the City Attorney following executive session.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, January 18 at 5:30 p.m.

“View from Wayne America” with Cale Giese and Wes Blecke