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Progress Measures & Program Prioritization 2009 - 2010

Taking Charge: Progress Measures & Program Prioritization 2009 - 2010

Citywide Outcome Priority #2: Economic Opportunity

Priority Goal #1: Facilitate private sector expansion of business investment, job creation and technology and innovation, and income growth.


Partnerships: The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) is the organization responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing Lincoln's economic development programming. LPED's stakeholders include the business community, government, educators, work force developers, utilities, interest groups, and citizens. The primary task for City government is working in concert with the other economic development partners to create the conditions for growth and investment.

Attracting New Business: The City's marketing efforts generate leads of businesses that may want to locate in the community. Leads allow follow-up by the LPED partners that help entice potential new businesses to Lincoln. Growth in the number of leads increases the likelihood of new jobs and new investment.

Business Retention: Helping businesses currently located in Lincoln succeed is the core activity of LPED programming. LPED gathers information from existing primary employers to help facilitate expansion activities, job creation, capital investment and retention of businesses in Lincoln.

Business Improvement: Neighborhood business districts are many times the heart of older neighborhoods and are a historic link to a past when some neighborhoods were small towns. The City supports revitalization efforts that attract businesses and consumers.

Program Indicators:

  1. Maintain or increase the number of business leads from the 2007 level of 31.
  2. Identify and provide assistance to 10 current Lincoln area businesses that represent retention or expansion opportunities as determined by a yearly survey of 100 primary employers.
  3. Progress indicators listed in other Priority Goals, particularly those in Priority Goal #3, also are indicators of the City's success in achieving this goal.

Unlike other Citywide outcome sections, the "Programs" under "Economic Opportunity" are not listed by "Priority Goals." Since most of the programs in the section impact multiple goals, they are listed together.

Priority Goal #2: Maintain full employment by linking workers with skill development opportunities and employers with skilled workers.


Employment: Employment is one indicator of a healthy local economy, although it is heavily influenced by national and state trends. The Nebraska Labor Department's five-year average employment rate in Lancaster County is 96.7%. The statewide five-year average is 96.4%.

Progress Indicators:

  1. Maintain rate of employment of at least 96.7%.
  2. Maintain Lincoln at or below its proportional share of the state's areas of substantial unemployment. (Explanation: The U.S. Department of Labor identifies census tracts of substantial unemployment. Lincoln's population is 14% of Nebraska's population. Lincoln strives to have less than 14% of the substantial unemployment census tracts in Nebraska. In 2008, Lincoln had 11.76%.)

Priority Goal #3: Expand the City's tax revenues: taxable sales and assessed value of the property tax base.


Population Growth: Population growth is an indicator of a healthy local economy and impacts expansion of key revenue generators. The historical average population increase between 1990 and 2008 is 1.5%.

Home Sales: Home sales are an indicator of a healthy local economy. Since 2000, the yearly average for existing home sales is approximately 2,253. The figure for new homes is 682.

Tax Base Expansion: City government depends on an expanding tax base to maintain quality services without increasing the tax burden on its citizens and businesses.

City Sales Tax Growth: Sales tax growth reduces the local property tax burden and is an indicator of economic health. Lincoln's sales tax average annual growth peaked in the 1990s and has stagnated the last 8 to 10 years. With the recent challenges of the national economy, the City's goal is to keep from experiencing negative sales tax growth. Lincoln's sales tax growth in 2007 was -.57%.

Progress Indicators:

  1. Maintain Lincoln's population growth at 1.5% per year.
  2. Meet the yearly sales goal for Lincoln's existing homes at 1,915 and the new home sales at 580 per year. (The numbers will be impacted by the national home mortgage crisis and thus are set 15% lower than the historical yearly average.)
  3. Maintain positive City sales tax growth.
  4. Expand the local tax base at an annual rate greater than the rate of inflation plus population growth.
  5. Increase property tax base in Downtown redevelopment areas by 10% above the Downtown property tax base not included in redevelopment project areas.

Priority Goal #4: Available infrastructure for growth: streets, water, wastewater, drainage, power, parking.


Infrastructure Growth: The Lincoln-Lancaster County 2030 Comprehensive Plan identifies 52 square miles in Lincoln's near term growth area that could reasonably expect urban services within the next 25 years. To serve this area, the City anticipates the need for 60 miles of arterial streets, 400 miles of sanitary sewer mains, 12 new recycling sites and treatment plant expansions, and 234 miles of utility funded or subsidized water mains.

Water: The current Water Facilities Master Plan identifies three phases of projects to meet the needs of our highest priority City growth areas. The total cost of the first two phases is $67 million over the next 12 years. The cost for the third phase is projected at $66 million in 2007 dollars. A business plan is being developed to identify the financing and water rate increases necessary to support these water projects.

Streets: In 2006, motorists drove 4.25 million miles on Lincoln streets each day. By 2030, that number is expected to increase to 9.5 million. Additional roadway capacity is important for safety, reduced congestion, economic development, tourism and to reduce air pollution.

Public Parking: The City has been successful in operating off-street parking during the past two decades. Parking is now seen as a critical incentive to foster private sector development in downtown Lincoln. Prudent analysis and investment to encourage and guide development as well as support downtown businesses is needed. Parking is one tool in the array of infrastructure resources the City can leverage for economic growth.

NOTE: Street construction, water, wastewater and power also are critical components of infrastructure. Street construction is discussed in the "Effective Transportation" Citywide Outcome. Water, wastewater and power are discussed in the "Environmental Quality" Citywide Outcome. Power was not included in the section because while Lincoln Electric System is City-owned, it is managed independently of City government.

Progress Indicators:

  1. Construct 100% of new sewer lines required each year to enable new growth.
    NOTE: The indicator has relevance to goals in Environmental Quality as well.
  2. Construct a new recycling drop-off site every two years.
  3. Maintain necessary progress toward completion of electrical power reliability improvements at both treatment facilities by 2016.
  4. Maintain necessary progress toward opening a new landfill by 2034.
  5. Maintain a Parking Fund bond coverage ratio greater than 1.5.

Priority Goal #5: Income growth for all Lincoln citizens.


Per Capita Income: Per-capita income is one indicator of a healthy local economy, and it is tracked by national and state trends. Lancaster's County per-capita average for the year 2006 was $34,079. The State's per-capita income for 2006 was $33,947.

Underemployment: Underemployment is cited often as a workforce development concern in Lincoln. This includes part-time workers who can't obtain full-time employment, temporary employers seeking permanent jobs, and workers whose education and/or qualifications exceed their current positions.

Households in Poverty and Food Stamps: The two measures are tracked by the Community Services Initiative to assess the ability of low-income people to achieve income growth and self-sufficiency.

Progress Indicators:

  1. Maintain Lancaster County's per-capita income of $37,487 or higher (10% higher than Lancaster County's 2006 average).
  2. Decrease Lancaster County's rate of households in poverty to below 12.8%, the three year average.
  3. Reduce the percentage of households in poverty needing food stamps to below 49.8%, the County three-year average.

Priority Goal #6: Make the development process predictable and efficient.


Response to Developers: "Time is money." Timely completion of steps required by City government is critical to the building community's success. A 10-day turnaround of initial commercial plan review, same day field inspections and a 12-hour response on permit approval ensure developers are not slowed by City government. All these goals exceed industry standards for communities of Lincoln's size.

Customer Service: City government strives to provide a high level of customer service, particularly for fee-funded services. Final plats to complete the development process should be completed within 30 days.

Progress Indicators:

  1. Maintain rate of initial commercial plan review completion within 10 working days 96% of the time.
  2. Maintain goal of same-day field inspection for service requests.
  3. Maintain 12-hour on line response for permit approval or corrections needed.
  4. Maintain 95% rate of applicant satisfaction with the final outcome of the process.
  5. Maintain 80% rate of applicant satisfaction with the time it took to complete the process.
  6. Complete at least 95% of final plat initial reviews within 30 days.
Economic Opportunity Tier 1 Programs Departments
Business retention Mayor
Redevelopment Urban Development
Annual review and implementation of the Comprehensive Plan Planning
Prepare CIP Public Works
Code Inspections (Building, plumbing, HVAC, electrical) Building & Safety
Plan review Building & Safety
Implement Development Services Center (administrative improvements) Mayor
Process developer applications for subdivisions Planning
Oversight of projects and technical support Public Works
Economic Opportunity Tier 2 Programs Departments
Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) Mayor
Dislocated workers, youth and adult employment Urban Development
Business recruitment Mayor
Zoning review Building & Safety
Process developer applications for zoning Planning
Review permits for compliance with design standards Planning
Code review to streamline/clarify development standards and processes Planning
Engineering review of plans Public Works
Public parking Urban Development
Business improvement districts (Downtown, N.27th, Univ Place) special assessment Urban Development
Deliver CIP directly attributable to new growth Public Works
Economic Opportunity Tier 3 Programs Departments
UNL Research and Development Corridor City
Job retention/loan program Urban Development
Job retention/loan program Urban Development
Regional economic development Urban Development
Fascade program Urban Development
Fascade program Urban Development
Develop and review annexation agreements Public Works

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Mayor's Office