City celebrates opening of new lift station near Interstate-80

Published: Jun. 15, 2016 at 12:44 PM CDT
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The city of Grand Island celebrated the opening of a new lift station for businesses along Highway 281 near the exit for Interstate 80 Wednesday morning.

The project has taken the city six years to complete, costing them around $4 million.

The city said they're excited to be able to open the new lift station since it will give the hotels, restaurants and gas station the ability to use the city for sewage services.

Previously, these businesses were required to provide their own sewage system, which cost them more money in the long run.

"One of the things investors look for is city utilities, and so one business that is, say, generating a small amount of money may all of a sudden find they're sitting on a piece of property worth a lot of money that another business comes and buys and makes a lot more money out of it," public works director John Collins said. "And that just kind of grows on itself."

The city hopes that with the addition of the new lift system, it'll promote more growth in Grand Island.

"If you start on the western part of the state and drive across the state, you see the communities that have really made a conscious effort to get out to the interstate to capture all that commerce, and so I think it's really important, from our standpoint, to make sure we've got the infrastructure that will allow that future development to happen," Grand Island Mayor Jeremy Jensen said.

Mayor Jensen also says it expands the geographic location of Grand Island for the thousands that pass the city as they drive on the interstate.

"We want to figure out a way to make it feel like Grand Island begins once you get off this interstate, and it's certainly going to take some time to. But I think looking at the future in the next 10 plus years, you'll see that gap really start to get filled with things," Mayor Jensen said.

The new lift station will transport sewage to the treatment plant located on the northeast portion of town.