Community Economic Development Plan
Ansley is a small community in central Nebraska that has historically been dependent on agricultural and railroad related jobs. Like many other small communities, Ansley has witnessed a declining population and enrollment in our schools. However, small cities are of increasing popularity with less turbulence than metropolitan cities. At the same time, information and communication technology has reduced the isolation of small towns. As a result, it is increasingly possible to successfully attract and operate small and medium-sized businesses in rural areas, especially when incentives are available.
Nebraska’s voters enacted a constitutional amendment in November, 1990, granting cities and villages power to use local sources of revenue for community development projects and programs. In 1991, the Unicameral implemented that amendment with the passage of Legislative Bill 840, the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act.
The Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act is based on the premise that communities should have the ability to use their own tax dollars in ways that best meet local needs. While ongoing planning processes in many Nebraska communities had identified development, job creation, and increased economic opportunity among their highest priorities for the future, a variety of constitutional and legislative prohibitions kept them from investing local public funds in development programs. The removal of those limitations in 1990 gave municipalities greater latitude in determining and acting upon local needs.
Since that time, Nebraskans have witnessed the expansion and location of many businesses to communities across the state, large and small, that would not have been possible without the use of the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act and the local plans passed using that initiative.