Gabe Steinmeyer, Neligh’s economic development director since June 2017, has tendered his resignation.
Steinmeyer submitted a letter of resignation to Neligh City Clerk Dana Klabenes, Oct. 29, after speaking with and providing a copy of the letter to members of the city’s economic development board.
Andy Elder, Tracy Jacobsen, Bill Mowinkel, Krista Schindler and Al Stelling serve as board members.
“I have been offered another position and have accepted,” Steinmeyer said.
He declined to state what the new position will be or where it is located, since the entity has not publicly announced his hiring.
Steinmeyer anticipates his last day in Neligh will be Nov. 30.
“If the (economic development) board asks me to help out with transition or see what can be done, maybe things happen in December, I’ll be around to help out,” he said.
Steinmeyer also serves part-time as the director for the Village of Clearwater.
Those services will transition to Assistant Director Lauren Sheridan-Simonsen, according to Steinmeyer.
“She will continue to provide services to Clearwater to see they receive the support our office has been providing.”
Stelling, economic development board director, said the board will be involved in the hiring process, but city council members will make the final decision.
In the past, members of the economic development board, council and representatives from the community have comprised the hiring committee.
Stelling was unsure when a search for a replacement will begin.
Since arriving in Neligh, Steinmeyer has been involved in discussions about the direction Neligh needs to chart in the future.
“One of the biggest things I have done is broaden the concept of what’s possible and open up the door to projects that, previously, most people wouldn’t have thought about,” he said.
A major project Steinmeyer has overseen, with assistance from Sheridan-Simonsen, is Neligh’s downtown revitalization efforts.
She will oversee DTR as it continues, working to address final issues.
“We are rapidly approaching the timeline,” she said.
Steinmeyer credited Neligh-area contractors for the “fantastic work” done on the projects.
He cited several revitalization projects, including Wanek’s, ESU 8 and the facade work and business transition at Neligh Family Dentistry, as examples of business owners investing in the community.
“We see some business owners downtown who are looking to reinvest in buildings and the Neligh community and that’s an amazing thing to see.”
During his tenure, other buildings in the city’s business district have been purchased and renovated.
Areas of town that weren’t “the prettiest are now cleaned up.”
“We are continuing to move forward with and develop plans to address other areas of the community that are still suffering from those issues,” he said.
With his office’s guidance, Clearwater residents banded together to open a grocery store.
Steinmeyer also assisted with the transition of an established business to new owners.
“The Clearwater community is proactive,” he said. “They want to see things happen.”
Another area of concentration he worked on includes housing development.
Housing issues aren’t isolated to Neligh or Antelope County.
“It affects Nebraska and rural America,” he said. “It’s definitely a challenge that needs to be addressed.”
A push for housing assistance began during Spring 2018, but Steinmeyer’s office did not receive funds from a rural workhouse grant.
Steinmeyer said he’s had discussion with other entities about housing concerns.
“We have a good plan going forward. They’re going to continue to push forward to solve that problem.
Steinmeyer said while he feels blessed by the opportunity to work with individuals in the community and help them grow their businesses, opportunities for self-growth present themselves.
“At this point, I think there’s some good opportunities I need to take advantage of in my personal life and I think the Neligh community is in good enough position that they’ll be able to continue to grow and find someone who will come in and continue that vision our office has been pushing for.”