|Our view . . .Sports Complex|
|April 13, 2012 Gering Citizen|
“If I had a nickel for every time Scottsbluff officials told me what’s good for Scottsbluff is also good for Gering, I’d be rich.” We heard that some time ago from an economic developer who used to live in the area.
Sure, we’re one community and economic development should benefit everyone. That’s why we’re puzzled that some people would think economic development in Gering wouldn’t benefit Scottsbluff. After all, isn’t it a twoway street? We think it should be.
The idea of a sports complex in Gering has been discussed off and on for several years. Now that it’s been brought up again, some in the community thought they would turn it into a kerfuffle. Their reasoning is why anyone would locate something like that in Gering when all the amenities are in Scottsbluff. They asked why Scottsbluff should sign onto this idea when Gering doesn’t support Scottsbluff.
Excuse us? For years, Gering has worked with Scottsbluff for police and fire protection. When Scottsbluff came up against a budget squeeze for its sanitation department, Gering offered to have Scottsbluff use its landfill as a joint service. So the accusation of no cooperation makes no sense at all.
How has development in Gering benefited Scottsbluff? Back in the early 1990s, Gering saw the need for a civic center, a place to host conventions, meetings and other events.
Plenty of naysayers came out of the woodwork. Some asked why tourists would come to Gering when they could go to Disneyland. Over the years, the Gering Civic Center has proved to be a big success. It became an economic generator that also benefits Scottsbluff, as people patronize restaurants and motels north of the river while they visit here. The same reasoning behind the civic center can apply to a sports complex. Gering needs economic development. Maybe this project has a bit of “if you build it, they will come” to it but like the civic center, it could bring new restaurants and new motels to Gering.
It’s a great impetus for business development in Gering. For larger events, Scottsbluff would also benefit, as would the entire community, especially our museums and tourist attractions.
Just as former Gering Mayor Bob Unzicker demonstrated his brand of leadership in his handling of the criticism and condemnation surrounding the proposed Gering Civic Center, how Mayor Mayo responds to the stinkum thrown from across the river will be crucial. Mayo has the opportunity to lead Gering into a new frontier of growth with the sports complex. We hope that he doesn’t take the bait.
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