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Grocer's identity remains a secret
January 27, 2011 Jerry Purvis   
What’s the name of the supermarket planning to build in the old Sun Mart building in Gering? That announcement will have to wait.

After the regular meeting of the Gering City Council, member Jill McFarland said that since the end of 2010, the only activity has been the council approving G-TOWN, LLC as the re-developer of record.

“If they were really planning to open in May, you’d expect something to be happening,” she said.

Last fall, the developers made a report to the city council and said they planned to identify the grocer with which they’re working by mid-January. The grocer was expected to be open for business around Memorial Day 2011.

“This is a glitch,” said Gering City Administrator Lane Danielzuk. "Right now, the grocer is waiting for approval of a loan submitted with the Small Business Administration. With all the recent changes in Congress, the loan has been stuck. The grocer will get the funding. It’s just taking longer than first expected.”

Danielzuk added the city and the re-developer wouldn’t want to see the opening schedule pushed back, but until SBA approval, a date still unknown, things are on hold.

The re-developer will be in Gering in the next couple of weeks to work on-site. They will also meet with city staff to discuss progress on the supermarket and also the development of the McKee property, directly north of the Sun Mart property.

Earlier, during their meeting, council members voted unanimously to keep an item tabled that would discuss the proposed merger of the Gering and Scottsbluff police departments.

Discussion of the merger first came up earlier in January. The council voted to table the discussion until members could look over the financial and operational research already done on the proposal before making a final decision. They scheduled that discussion for Jan. 24.

Several local residents were in attendance to speak to the issue, but council kept the item on the table and moved on the next agenda item.

McFarland said that even with widespread public opposition to the proposed merger, the council wanted to study the research before voting for or against. The discussion will be rescheduled for one of the council’s February meetings, either the 14th or the 28th.

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