Council votes against new housing proposal


Kayla Mathewson, Staff Writer

The Wayne City Council voted against building affordable housing during last week’s meeting on March 15.

The proposal was to build houses that would meet the requirements of being more than 1,000 square feet, having a two-car garage, and costing less than $140,000 to families. The funds would come from an LB840 application, which is generated by sales tax revenue. The city was authorized by the state to use the LLB840 for grants and forgivable loans instead of low interest or zero percent interest loans, which can be recycled. The council wants these funds to last and be used for other reasons.

Cale Giese, city council member, turned down the proposal for various reasons.

“I believe the funds need to be available to renovate existing housing,” Giese said. “The city’s main priority has always been to build new, but I think we need to provide money to maintain or improve existing neighborhoods.”

The decision was unanimous among the council.

Sewer rates in Wayne faced a 24 percent increase, which was recommended by a rate consultant. Various sewer improvements have been made throughout the town, including the removal of the sewer lagoon. The fee will help the city pay for the improvements, instead of paying $250,000 shortfall in operations.

The council approved of tearing down and improving infrastructure in the oldest part of town. It was a matching fund grant, the matching funds helped provide money to either fix up or demolish to housing.

A holding account was created for Ken Jorgensen for the future Keno that will be available with his new building opening soon.

An aspiring Eagle Scout named James Simpson wants to do some landscape and building work at Roosevelt Park. The building will be done by one of the construction classes here at WSC. In the construction there will be a shelter built and a few grills. There will also be an official sign, a flagpole and various types of flowers planted throughout the park.

The Wayne Public Library also updated their website. Lauran Lofgren, the library director, gave a presentation on the updated website. You can now access the Wayne Herald through the library’s website along with newspapers dating back to the 1880’s.