Nebraska lawmakers discuss cash, perks to lure new residents

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers who want to preserve the state's small towns are considering a new approach -- paying people to move there.

Senators are looking into relocation incentives designed to draw residents back to rural areas. Small cities such as Curtis offer free land, down payment assistance for a house and golf club memberships to try to entice young families to live in the area.

A legislative hearing scheduled for Aug. 24 in North Platte will explore the issue. Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango said his staff is researching the matter to see what if anything Nebraska state officials can do.

Hughes said he wanted to study relocation incentives out of concern for Sidney. The city faces an uncertain future after its largest employer, Cabela's, was sold to Bass Pro Shops.