The Lexington City Council approved two loan agreements at their April 10 meeting that will pave the way for bringing a Runza restaurant and microbrewery to the community.
Loan Agreement 2018-01 authorizes RRTABS Investments of Holdrege to take over the Runza restaurant project on South Plum Creek Parkway from the previous applicant, Whilee LLC of Gothenburg. Funds would be used to purchase the property and allow RRTABS to proceed with renovation of the former Wendy’s into a Runza franchise, noted City Manager Joe Pepplitsch.
Loan agreement 2018-02 will allow McFarland Family Farms, LLC to proceed with a $420,000 expansion. “We have decided to take a next step at Mac’s Creek and will be opening Liberty Brewing Company,” said Barry McFarland. “We will not be distributing beer. What we produce will only be for sale at our Lexington location and at the Kearney wine bar. The loan will help purchase equipment and be part of the puzzle.”
He added their goal is to have beer ready for sale by Jan. 1, 2019.
Seth McFarland said they initially want to brew three different types of beer. “We are looking at a kolsch, some type of IPA and a lager. We tried to select beers with the broadest appeal,” he said.
Pepplitsch noted the funds are part of a revolving loan pool administered by a Loan Fund Committee. “The committee took a look at both projects and deemed them worthy, as they mesh with current development plans. This puts all of our reuse dollars into play in projects and allow us to seek additional funding for other projects,” he said.
In other business the council approved a motion to approve plans and specifications for the Northwest segment of the Hike-Bike Trail project in order to seek project bids. The trail would run from the intersection of Adams and 20th Streets roughly along an old irrigation ditch, crossing Patriot Drive and going south back to 20th Street just west of Independence Avenue.
Pepplitsch said they would like to open bids in early May and bring them back at the council’s second May meeting for consideration.
The council also authorized execution of a deed conveying property at 704 W. Ninth to Roberto Franco to build a house. A remonstrance ordinance had passed at the council’s previous meeting with no petition against the sale.
The council had originally scheduled a work session for April 14, but the weekend snowstorm forced the meeting to be rescheduled.