‘Vote Yes for Norfolk’ initiative launches campaign

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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NORFOLK, Neb. (KTIV) - Local business and community leaders in Norfolk, Nebraska are asking residents to “Vote Yes” on a new initiative to help continue the city’s growth and improvement.

The initiative, called “Vote Yes for Norfolk” is a three-part plan focused on improving the city’s safety, streets and sports. In November, residents will have the chance to vote on a referendum for improvements throughout the community.

Local leaders detailed the plan at a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. They hope the plan will both keep residents in Norfolk, as well as bring in new residents, tourists and businesses.

“Most people don’t come anymore to a city based upon the job,” said Glenn Wapelhorst, the speaker for the “Vote Yes For Norfolk” initiative. “They come based upon, do they really want to live there. Is this a place that has the kind of amenities, or the things that would be of interest to them to have their family take root here, and enjoy the city while they’re working?”

The first part, safety, involves a large-scale renovation of the Norfolk Police Station. The current station is a little over 17,000 square feet and has been in use since the 1980s. The expansion would increase the building to around 26,000 square feet to accommodate current needs.

The second part, streets, focuses on patching and repaving a number of roads across Norfolk that have deteriorated over the years.

And the third and final aspect, sports, would focus on improving the city’s local recreation. The plan calls for a complete renovation of the fields and buildings at Ta-Ha-Zouka park, including new baseball, softball and soccer fields, and improved bathrooms, locker rooms and changing areas. Additionally, a brand-new 54,000-square-foot indoor aquatic complex is slated to be added to Winter Park.

“It’ll be a huge asset for competitive sports,” said Wapelhorst. “But it also will be great for families, or even grandparents like myself that can go there and enjoy floating down the lazy river when it’s 20 degrees below 0 outside. Or, taking grandchildren or children there to enjoy it, rather than needing to go to another location to have those kinds of memories to make.”

Local leaders expect the plan will add up to 107 jobs to the community, and bring in nearly $5 million in visitor spending. To fund it, for every $100 spent in Norfolk the sales tax will add 50 cents.