On Monday, Lincoln County Commissioners will discuss how a recently passed “inland port authority” bill could help build the proposed industrial rail park just outside Hershey.

County Council will consider Bill 156 during the meeting, which will begin at 9 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Room at the North Platte Courthouse, 301 N. Jeffers St.

The bill, which senators passed 47-0 on Wednesday, would offer public funds to major cities or counties wishing to develop and designate a potential industrial site as an “inner port district”.

LB 156 offers a second possible source of State aid for the establishment of the railway fleet. State Senator Mike Groene’s LB 40, which is offering matching funds for its construction, was passed unanimously 49-0 on Wednesday.

An inland port district must have an area of ​​at least 300 acres under LB 156, which awaits Governor Pete Ricketts’ signature with LB 40.

Both bills would come into force at the end of August, 90 days after the Legislature adjourned its 2021 regular session on Thursday.

Although Hershey is not large enough under LB 156 to create an inland port district, Lincoln County could do so because the county has a population of at least 20,000.

No more than five inland port districts could be established statewide under LB 156, which Omaha Senator Justin Wayne introduced and which Groene co-sponsored.


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