Today, more than 80% of global shipping involves containers. They're packed with everything from personal storage items in dry containers to heavy machinery on flat rack containers. For business owners shipping products, getting a container from point A to point B requires precise planning and high-level tracking. But that's easier said than done when global supply chains become over-congested, leading to loading time issues and delays.
That's bad news for business owners who are already under a massive amount of stress. The truth is that container storage delays can cripple a business, but there's a viable solution: drayage brokers in Omaha, NE like RelyEx. Drayage companies provide unique solutions to minimize demurrage and help ensure the successful delivery of your freight.
With more than 30 combined years of experience and a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx has quickly become the first choice for streamlined, efficient drayage services. To understand the true value of RelyEx's offerings in the global logistics industry, it helps to understand first what drayage is and why it's used.
If you're a seasoned business owner who uses port drayage to transport your products, you know exactly how important the service can be. But if you were to poll a group of random people, you may get five different definitions of the term "drayage." That begs the question, how is one of the most crucial steps in the supply chain and most vital components of global trade such a confusing concept? When you break it down, it's not too difficult to grasp.
Drayage, by definition, means the transportation of freight from an ocean port to another destination. Today, drayage is also used to describe the process of transporting products and goods over short distances or over "the first mile."
While drayage often means short-distance movements during the supply chain process, it's primarily used in the container shipping space. Drayage loads usually have arrival and departure points in the same city and don't include long-haul, national transportation.
Because a drayage load can mean a few different things, confusion among carriers is common. Many carriers link drayage with going into a port, but that isn't always true. While all drayage loads typically originate from a port of entry, there are often several legs of a drayage journey before a container turns up at its final stop. Legs of a drayage load may include:
You may be thinking, what's so important about drayage? It's such a small step in the container storage transport process. In reality, it's an integral piece needed in the logistics industry and a crucial part of U.S. supply chain management.
To truly understand the importance of drayage, let's use flowers as an example. Most cut flower shipments enter the market from areas in South America until they end up at Dutch auction houses. Once there, wholesalers purchase flowers in bulk and send those products to retail outlets worldwide. Because flowers are perishable, they typically need to be refrigerated and are often shipped in reefer containers. These refrigerated vessels must maintain a certain temp to prevent loss.
Drayage companies like RelyEx allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services. Drayage companies allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind, because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services.
If port drayage is compromised, it can cause delays and even fines. You know the packages you get delivered to your front door from apps like Amazon? Without drayage and drayage brokers, one or two-day shipping times wouldn't even be possible.
As a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, it seems like drayage shipping issues shouldn't exist. But the fact is inefficiencies and congestion are still major problems at ports. Whether it's a lack of carriers, absent chassis, or overburdened terminals, delays lead to missed deadlines, lost revenue, and worse.
But anytime challenges exist, so too do innovative solutions.QUOTE REQUEST
RelyEx was created because our founders saw a need in the logistics space for more reliability and efficiency. The reality of the shipping and logistics industry is that it has become very transactional. It's an odd evolution, because most businesses seek a third-party logistics partner that is accessible, transparent, and committed to providing solutions.
As the logistics space continues to grow, it creates newfound expenses and complexities. Clients like ours know that and need a supply chain partner who is genuinely interested in their business. By understanding the needs of our customers and carriers, we can provide the most reliable, effective drayage services possible.
Unlike some drayage companies in Omaha, NE, we begin managing your containers before they ever hit the ports by mapping out the most efficient pathways of delivery. That way, our team can discover the best drayage pathways to expedite delivery time and reduce fees that cut into profits.
Our valued drayage customers choose RelyEx because:
At RelyEx, we like to consider ourselves problem solvers. The nature of the container drayage industry presents new challenges every day, but we're firm believers that there's a solution to every hurdle we encounter. And while some drayage businesses implement a reactive approach, RelyEx customers choose us for our proactive mindset. We take pride in solving your company's drayage challenges to help you avoid frustrating fees, missed expectations, and delayed shipments. We strive to make every transaction successful and streamlined by partnering with shippers who prioritize transparent, prompt, and accurate communication.
RelyEx approaches your business from the customer's perspective - a unique approach that helps us provide high-quality, effective drayage services. We've been in the customers' shoes, know their pain points, and because of that, provide first-hand solutions to stressful supply chain issues. With over 30 years of collective knowledge, our team excels in:
Our varied, high-level drayage shipping experience helps us achieve our overarching goal: expertly managing your freight movement needs. That way, you can direct your time and focus on growing the core aspects of your business while we handle the heavy lifting. Throw in proactive planning to avoid bottleneck situations and strong communication for transparent customer relations, and you can see why so many companies trust RelyEx.
When it comes to shipping logistics, it only takes one mistake by a mediocre worker to disrupt your business. That's why, at RelyEx, we pride ourselves on forming and nurturing relationships with carriers who match our standards of care. Our founding partner started his career transporting freight for companies as an on-demand carrier. He uses that knowledge to maximize the resources of our carriers so that our customer's expectations aren't just met - they're exceeded.
Based in the port city of Omaha, RelyEx has a keen understanding of the challenges of managing the inbound and outbound flow of containers. Our team of container drayage experts provides your business with unique solutions to nuanced shipping problems, minimizing demurrage and ensuring the successful delivery of your freight.
Customers choose RelyEx because:
Some drayage brokers don't care how customers feel about their service as long as they sign a contract and get paid. As a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx takes the opposite approach. We're motivated by the opportunity to overachieve for our customers and to provide them with the best logistics experience possible. With professional experience as carriers and shippers ourselves, we know the roadblocks and challenges you're facing. We excel at mapping out the best plans of action to solve those problems. But that's just the start.
Our tracking experts monitor and manage every aspect of your drayage shipment from booking to delivery, 24/7. Once booked, we look for the availability of your containers hourly once they're at port. When they arrive, our team acts quickly to access your storage containers when they're available.
Plus, RelyEx ensures your company's requirements are met by the carrier during loading and delivery and provide necessary documentation as fast as possible. With real-time tracking updates and access to our customer service professionals, your team has complete visibility throughout the shipping process.
Over the years, RelyEx has built a strong network of drayage carriers, transloading locations, and container storage spaces to provide you with the best possible options to match your drayage service needs. We know that searching for quality service presents an added layer of complexity and stress to our customers. That's why we work hard to take that off your plate by connecting you with our reliable shipping partners.
With a background moving freight as an on-demand carrier, our founding partner understands how to maximize the resources and equipment of our carriers to match your needs.
Like other industries, the global logistics space is complex. Mistakes will be made, and problems will happen. With those truths in mind, RelyEx has built its reputation as problem solvers. Unlike other drayage companies, we don't shy away from this industry's complexities because we take pride in solving problems. Even better, we aim to do what's needed to avoid those problems altogether.
As your logistics partner, we will provide your company with accurate, transparent, and prompt communication. If there are unexpected issues, we'll notify you immediately and will provide several options to remedy the problem. We even offer custom reporting for large clients who need at-the-moment updates and quick access to shipment documentation.
Why let the unpredictability of your industry dictate your success? With a background working in manufacturing, our founders are familiar with the demands of managing production schedules and sales orders. That experience makes it abundantly clear to us that every business and industry is different. If you struggle with seasonal surges or other factors, our team supports your business with a mapped-out plan and schedule, so you stay ahead of the game.QUOTE REQUEST
Based in the port city of Omaha, RelyEx has a keen understanding of the challenges of managing the inbound and outbound flow of containers. Our team of container drayage experts provides your business with unique solutions to nuanced shipping problems, minimizing demurrage and ensuring the successful delivery of your freight.
Demurrage is a charge issued by a port, carrier, or railroad company for storing containers that do not load and unload their cargo promptly. Once the daily limit of free time is exceeded, shippers are charged daily demurrage fees until their cargo is shipped. Though different ports have different policies, charges can range from $75 to $150 per container, per day, for a set number of days. Additional demurrage fees are incurred if a shipper exceeds the port's parameters.
Even when shippers maintain a tight schedule for unloading freight, external factors can play an uncontrollable part. Typically, shipping mistakes caused by human error trigger the most demurrage charges. Some of the most common causes of demurrage include:
Typically, shippers need four specific documents to clear shipments through customs: A Bill of Lading (or BOL), a commercial invoice, a packing list, and an arrival notice. Seasoned drayage brokers like RelyEx are used to preparing these documents, but new shippers tend to miss this step due to inexperience.
If a shipper only pays for part of their shipment, a vessel operator may refuse to release their freight until their bill is fully paid. Payment delays lead to cargo detention at the port of entry, which triggers demurrage charges.QUOTE REQUEST
Paperwork is needed when you're shipping goods with a drayage company. When documents like the Certificate of Origin or Bill of Lading arrive at their destination late, you can expect demurrage fees. RelyEx avoids this situation entirely by being proactive when submitting paperwork.
Additional causes for demurrage fees can include:
At RelyEx, we know first-hand how stressful supply chain problems can be for business owners. Though drayage shipping might seem minor on the surface, it affects every stage of your shipping process. And when inevitable hurdles manifest, RelyEx propels you over the proverbial roadblocks with a proactive mindset and a passion for challenging projects. We believe that all problems have a solution, and our unique vantage point allows us to provide first-hand solutions to customers in a wide array of industries.
When it comes to your business, don't settle for anything less than RelyEx. Contact our office today to learn more about how we make your shipping experience streamlined and stress-free.843-885-3082
WALTHILL, Neb. (KTIV) - Walthill, Nebraska, is a small village on the Omaha Reservation. And, although the village doesn’t sit on a major highway, it does have one key attraction... the “Lucky 77 Casino”.After 18 years in its previous building, the casino officially opens in a brand-new building Thursday morning creating *jobs* and economic growth.KTIV’s Matt Breen spoke with Brad Appleton, the CEO of the Blackbird Bend Corporation to find out more.“Brad, what does this new casino represent ...
WALTHILL, Neb. (KTIV) - Walthill, Nebraska, is a small village on the Omaha Reservation. And, although the village doesn’t sit on a major highway, it does have one key attraction... the “Lucky 77 Casino”.
After 18 years in its previous building, the casino officially opens in a brand-new building Thursday morning creating *jobs* and economic growth.
KTIV’s Matt Breen spoke with Brad Appleton, the CEO of the Blackbird Bend Corporation to find out more.
“Brad, what does this new casino represent economically for Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and the village of Walthill?” asked Matt Breen. “This project in itself represents an important advancement in the Omaha Tribe’s vision for continued economic development, development and growth,” said Brad Appleton, Chief Executive Officer for the Blackbird Bend Corporation.
“When we talk dollars and cents, how much did this project cost? How many jobs will it create?” asked Breen. “Dollars and cents wise, we’re right in the neighborhood of $2 million when it’s a complete, and it will create approximately eight new jobs at this time. And we may be looking at a couple of more in the near future,” said Appleton.
“How long has it taken to get this project from the drawing board to reality?” asked Breen. “Oh, this year has been a long one really hit. We opened a facility the original facility back in August of 2005. So, 17 plus years in the making, trying to two doors open. It’s been about two years. A lot of thought out of development, a lot of hard work and dedication has went into this project,” said Appleton.
“What does the new casino offer that the old “Lucky 77″ didn’t?” asked Breen. “As we mentioned, you know, the added jobs, greater opportunity to the community. project itself. You walk into the facility, it’s more spacious. Got new machines, variety-- added variety. We will offer a food offering snack bar, pizza, subs, stuff of that nature. But overall, you’re just going to have to come on out and take a look yourself,” said Appleton.
“For folks used to going to the old Lucky 77, they won’t have much farther to travel to get to the new casino, will they?” asked Breen. “That is correct. It’s right across the street if you’ve been to Lucky 77 before, you know you know where it’s at beautiful facility right across the street 205 Main Street, Walthill, Nebraska. If you haven’t been there, come on down and check us out,” said Appleton.
Copyright 2023 KTIV. All rights reserved.
When Elkhorn North has a game, it’s a certainty that junior outfielder Chris Thiessen will have a buddy nearby.His name is Buddy.Chris has Type 1 diabetes, which means he can’t make his own insulin. Enter Buddy, a service dog trained to detect hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — and alert his owner to treat it.“He’s usually with my dad at games,” Thiessen said. “He can sense a 20% greater change in my blood sugar, so it’s really cool how it works.”Buddy is a...
When Elkhorn North has a game, it’s a certainty that junior outfielder Chris Thiessen will have a buddy nearby.
His name is Buddy.
Chris has Type 1 diabetes, which means he can’t make his own insulin. Enter Buddy, a service dog trained to detect hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — and alert his owner to treat it.
“He’s usually with my dad at games,” Thiessen said. “He can sense a 20% greater change in my blood sugar, so it’s really cool how it works.”
Buddy is a fixture in the dugout before and after games for the Wolves, who will play for their second consecutive Class B title Friday at the state baseball tournament. Thiessen, who is hitting .458 and bats leadoff, is a key member of the team.
“Chris undoubtedly is our leader offensively,” coach Anthony Dunn said. “He’s an incredible athlete and a really good kid.”
Dunn said he first met Chris and Buddy when Thiessen was in the eighth grade.
“He came and tried out for our reserve team that first summer we had baseball,” the coach said. “He came to tryouts and had his dog which was pretty unique, but now Buddy is like a member of the team.”
Buddy can detect low blood sugar through organic compounds in Thiessen’s breath and is trained to act accordingly. Thiessen’s dad Jac and his canine friend sit near the Wolves’ dugout during games.
“If Buddy senses that it’s low, my dad will tell me to go grab a juice and then I’m back in the game,” Chris said. “I’m not really sure how they train the dogs but he smells my breath, so it’s kind of crazy how it works.”
Thiessen said he has had diabetes since he was 4, so his medical journey is nothing new.
“It’s basically just a lifestyle for me,” he said. “I don’t really know any life differently.”
He added that Buddy has been his constant companion since fifth grade.
“He’s a great dog,” Thiessen said. “He’s my best friend and he goes everywhere with me.”
Chris said his condition hasn’t prevented him from being active in sports.
“Having diabetes hasn’t slowed me down at all,” he said. “It’s just another obstacle to overcome.”
Dunn said having Buddy around is a positive for the entire team.
“He’s always somewhere near the dugout,” the coach said. “It’s the same for football when he’s on the sidelines, and it would really feel strange not having him around.”
Dunn said it’s not unusual for him to get a text from Thiessen’s parents, alerting him that Buddy senses trouble.
“They’ll tell me that Chris needs something,” he said. “I think Buddy works better than some of the other technology they have these days.”
The coach said he’s no medical expert but is glad one of his top players has a canine pal watching out for him.
“I don’t know how it works,” he said. “But it works.”
Thiessen said he’s proud to be part of another championship contender, and happy that Buddy has been embraced as a member of the team.
“We all love to play with him at practice,” Thiessen said. “It’s great that the rest of the guys love him as much as I do.”
If Buddy seems almost human, Thiessen said he has one other trait that might make you think so.
“He loves bacon, just like most people,” Chris said. “It’s another way he’s like one of us.”
Where: UNO’s Tal Anderson Field
All games televised on Nebraska Public Media
Lincoln East (30-4) vs. Millard West (32-6), 7 p.m.
The top-ranked Spartans have gone 3-0 at the tourney and are riding a 12-game win streak.
East is seeking its first state title and looks to become the first Lincoln school to win the Class A championship since Southeast in 1977.
Defending-champion Millard West is 3-1 at state, losing to Grand Island 7-5 on Wednesday before bouncing back with a 5-1 win to clinch a spot in the final.
Both teams are expected to throw their aces — Carter Mick for the Spartans and Drew Deremer for the Wildcats.
East beat Millard West twice during the regular season.
Norris (25-9) vs. Elkhorn North (23-6), 4 p.m.
The No. 1 Titans lost to Omaha Skutt 4-2 on Wednesday but defeated the SkyHawks 11-2 later in the day to advance to the final for the eighth time in quest of their second state title.
LSU pledge Kale Fountain leads the offense though top pitcher Kaizer Papenhagen pitched that victory Wednesday night against Skutt so will be unavailable for the final.
Defending champion Elkhorn North threw Nebraska pledge Ryan Harrahill on Wednesday in a 3-2 win over Omaha Gross to reach the final so Creighton recruit Colin Nowaczyk probably gets the call today.
Norris posted a late-season 8-7 win over the Wolves.
Malcolm (24-3) vs. Omaha Roncalli (13-11), 1 p.m.
The top-ranked Clippers went 3-0 at state, surviving a pair of one-run games against Platteview.
Malcolm lost 4-3 in a district final against Omaha Concordia but defeated the Mustangs 9-1 in the opening round at state.
Roncalli has played a predominantly Class B schedule so its record isn’t as glittery but the Crimson Pride are resilient, rallying for three runs in the top of the seventh Wednesday night to defeat Wayne 5-4 and advance to the final.
The teams, which did not play during the regular season, seek a Class C title — a classification last contested in 1960.
LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers passed the last pieces of the state budget Thursday and sent the package on to Gov. Jim Pillen's desk.The governor will have until Wednesday to sign or veto any bill within the package or to issue line-item vetoes on specific items. It will be the first budget of Pillen's administration.The package includes several items Pillen called for in his January budget recommendations, such as $1.25 billion to create an Education Future Fund to boost state aid to schools, plus money to build a new pris...
LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers passed the last pieces of the state budget Thursday and sent the package on to Gov. Jim Pillen's desk.
The governor will have until Wednesday to sign or veto any bill within the package or to issue line-item vetoes on specific items. It will be the first budget of Pillen's administration.
The package includes several items Pillen called for in his January budget recommendations, such as $1.25 billion to create an Education Future Fund to boost state aid to schools, plus money to build a new prison and a canal-and-reservoir system in western Nebraska.
But it also would increase state spending more than the governor had recommended, including higher payment rates for health and human services providers and a larger increase in funding for the University of Nebraska.
As passed, the Legislature's budget would appropriate $10.7 billion for state operations and aid and authorize capital construction projects for the two fiscal years ending June 30, 2025. It also would transfer more money into the state's long-standing Property Tax Credit Fund.
The budget would increase state general fund spending by an annual average of 2.2% over the two years. That's well below the average going back 20 years but more than the 1.3% average spending growth that Pillen proposed.
The package would leave an estimated $892 million in the state's general fund for tax cuts and other uses over the two fiscal years. That would be the difference between revenue projections and the spending plan.
Major income tax cut and property tax relief measures that are awaiting final approval would reduce those revenues by an estimated $561 million during the two years. That's down from the $870 million impact estimated before lawmakers trimmed back the tax measures.
State Sen. Rob Clements of Elmwood, the Appropriations Committee chairman, pointed out that the tax cuts plus all other bills at the second and third rounds of consideration would tally up to $863 million. He said he hoped to see some additional trims made in those bills.
Overall, however, Clements said he was pleased with the budget. He said the package kept spending growth down, while funding the priorities of state agencies and addressing about half of the 87 bills referred to the committee. Those bills sought a combined $1.3 billion, out of which the budget package included about $400 million.
Clements said he hopes to set aside more money in the state's "rainy day" fund in the future. Under the budget package, the cash reserve fund is expected to be at $779 million by June 30, 2025, or about 13% of state revenues for one year. That would be down from the nearly $1.6 billion expected in the reserve by June 30 this year.
The Appropriations Committee had proposed to keep the reserve at about 16% of state revenues but, at Pillen's request, lawmakers opted to make more room for tax cuts by reducing a planned transfer of money into the cash reserve.
The budget also would tap the fund to pay for a number of water, housing, economic development and other initiatives, including two major construction projects.
The budget would set aside $574.5 million from the reserve for the proposed Perkins County Canal, which is to start in Colorado and bring water into southwest Nebraska. Under a century-old compact, building the canal would entitle Nebraska to 500 cubic feet per second of water from the South Platte River during the non-irrigation season, in addition to the current 120 cfs during the summer irrigation months.
Another $95.8 million would be transferred from the cash reserve for a new $350 million prison. Lawmakers had set aside the rest of the money during previous years but held off approving construction to encourage negotiations on slowing the increase in prison populations.
This year’s main budget bill would authorize the Department of Correctional Services to proceed with building the prison. Language included in the bill would require the department to complete studies of staffing and programming needs, as well as projections of the mix of maximum-, medium- and minimum-security inmates. The studies were called for under previous legislation.
The main budget bill also would boost payment rates for hospitals, nursing homes, foster parents, therapists and other health and human service providers by 3% next year and another 2% the following year, which accounted for close to $70 million of spending growth.
Pillen did not include any provider rate increases in his original budget plan. But numerous provider groups had asked for larger increases, saying they were struggling to stay afloat in the face of inflationary cost increases and workforce shortages.
The budget also included a 2.5% annual increase in state funding for the University of Nebraska. The increase was less than university officials requested and more than Pillen had recommended in January, but represented a compromise between the two.
In addition, the committee plan included the full cost of salary increases for state employees, which averaged 7% the first year and 5% the second year.
Chicken Parmesan is my go-to order at our favorite Italian restaurant. It starts with a bed of carbs, then it’s topped with crispy, seasoned chicken breasts, rich spaghetti sauce and tons of melty mozzarella. My mouth waters just thinking of it.Chicken Parmesan Meatballs put a fun twist on this classic dish. The meatballs in this recipe incorporate all of the normal breading ingredients as the binder and they are extremely flavorful. You can easily substitute ground turkey — I couldn’t find ground chicken recently &m...
Chicken Parmesan is my go-to order at our favorite Italian restaurant. It starts with a bed of carbs, then it’s topped with crispy, seasoned chicken breasts, rich spaghetti sauce and tons of melty mozzarella. My mouth waters just thinking of it.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs put a fun twist on this classic dish. The meatballs in this recipe incorporate all of the normal breading ingredients as the binder and they are extremely flavorful. You can easily substitute ground turkey — I couldn’t find ground chicken recently — but whichever you use, get a mix of light and dark meet (not extra lean) because poultry has a tendency to get dry.
I usually serve this dish over pasta. You could also opt for carb-friendly zoodles, or the meatballs would be excellent served as a sandwich on a hoagie bun.
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound ground chicken (white and dark meat)
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus basil leaves for garnish
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, grated
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1¼ cups), divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry red wine
1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided
1. Combine eggs, chicken, prosciutto, panko, basil, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic, and half of the Parmesan in a large bowl. Gently mix with your hands to thoroughly combine, taking care not to overmix. Shape into 12 to 14 balls (about 2 ounces each).
2. Preheat oven to 450 F. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high. Cook meatballs in a single layer, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add wine to skillet; cook, scraping bottom of skillet to release browned bits, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce.
3. Arrange meatballs in skillet in a single layer; turn to coat in sauce. Sprinkle with 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan.
4. Transfer skillet to preheated oven; bake until mozzarella cheese is melted and beginning to brown and internal temperature of meatballs registers 165 F, 10 to 14 minutes.
5. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of mozzarella over the top and garnish with basil leaves.
LINCOLN — Funding to help erect a Chief Standing Bear museum and to tear down dilapidated property in western Nebraska are among additions to a multimillion-dollar package aimed primarily at lifting North and South Omaha.The updated Economic Recovery Act cleared voting hurdles Thursday that now push it to the final debate stage.State Sen. Terrell McKinney of North Omaha noted that the Legislature last year set aside about $335 million largely to spur transformational change in North and South Omaha. Some of that has alrea...
LINCOLN — Funding to help erect a Chief Standing Bear museum and to tear down dilapidated property in western Nebraska are among additions to a multimillion-dollar package aimed primarily at lifting North and South Omaha.
The updated Economic Recovery Act cleared voting hurdles Thursday that now push it to the final debate stage.
State Sen. Terrell McKinney of North Omaha noted that the Legislature last year set aside about $335 million largely to spur transformational change in North and South Omaha. Some of that has already been allocated.
Now it’s time to appropriate the remainder, he said, namely about $225 million in grants to specific North and South Omaha entities to be chosen by the Department of Economic Development.
Newer funding requests — for projects such as a Malcolm X museum, health clinics, the Standing Bear museum and rail spurs in western Nebraska — have pushed up the total package beyond $400 million, said State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha.
Wayne, who along with McKinney was an original sponsor of the Economic Recovery Act, said the final cost projection is to be laid out in the fiscal note that will accompany the next round of debate.
Folded into the package were several bills, including a few that update provisions of the state’s Community Development Law, which governs the economic tool called tax-increment financing.
“These bills lift our communities up,” State Sen. Jane Raybould of Lincoln said. She said the overall package “contains momentum on many different levels.”
Not all of the proposal was met favorably. State Sen. Rob Clements of Elmwood, who chairs the Legislature’s budget committee, was wary of the proposed use of some interest earnings from certain project funds to cover some of the cost.
State Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha, another sponsor of the North-South recovery bill, called the overall process “a monumental dedication to east Omaha.”
“This has been a long time coming,” he said. “We’re focusing on big transformational projects.”
The DED is to review the original 367 applications from community entities that sought a chunk of the North and South Omaha funding.
Previously, the Olsson consulting firm was awarded $1.7 million to review and narrow down the applications. Though Olsson completed that task, a special legislative committee shifted to the DED review.
State Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha said he thought that 90% of Olsson’s work was good. But he said the consultant, for example, overlooked a proposal for a proposed Ernie Chambers museum in North Omaha, and he advocated that DED give it another look.
Among other measures included in the proposed package: