NEBRASKA CITY – City commissioners approved a Growth Fund loan to help establish the City Tap House at 707 Central Ave.

Economic Developer Dan Mauk said there has been a significant investment in the project already and the Growth Fund loan of $54,500 will  be used for equipment.

Owner Ken Campbell said the equipment includes a self-serve tap system that will allow customers to sample craft beers by the ounce or glassful. He hopes to have all Nebraska craft beers and some from outside of the state available.

A traditional bar, shipped in from Portland, Ore., and wine bar are also planned with the craft beer wall.

Campbell: “This is a year in the making. We bought the building a year ago and my wife and I have been renovating it. Tearing out … I think we hauled out 4.2 tons of mortar and dry wall and stuff like that.”

Campbell said the craft beer scene has been growing in popularity in Nebraska.

Campbell: “I’m a brewer myself. That is what initially started this whole plan and maybe, at some point, I’ll actually brew beer in my building and replace a couple taps a month for specialty beer with products made right here in Nebraska City.”

He expects to be open this winter.

Campbell: “It’s my hobby and I want to share It.”

City commissioners also approved a $12.6 million city budget that includes a 4 percent increase in valuations and a 2 percent decrease in the property tax levy.

Finance Commissioner Gloria Glover highlighted the city employment of 52 full-time, 59 part-time and 60 seasonal positions.

The city is currently recruiting for an EMT, city attorney and administrative clerk.

Glover: “Currently then, on Aug. 31, we had a total of 112 filled city positions in the Nebraska City workforce.”

The budget includes a 3 percent cost of living increase for employees.

Nebraska City City Council budget hearing will include a property tax asking of $1.2 million and an additional $674,000 for bonds.

The city reports that the property tax request is down 3 percent over 2020 and the operating budget is down 6 percent. 

The Tree City Trail Committee proposes a $50,000 grant application to the Kropp Foundation for a trail project.

The Pioneer Homecoming Parade will be staged at 14th Street and Central Avenue at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10. Principal Brian Hoover said there will be gathering following the 22 minute parade east on Central Avenue.

Also in a budget manner, Utilities Manager Jeff Kohrs told city commissioners about plans to improve the city wells.

He said wells eight, nine, 10 and 11 were raised following the flood of 2011 and stayed well-above the record levels in the flood of 2019. Kohrs said the public utility is seeking funds through FEMA and America Recovery to raise the remaining seven wells five feet.