NEWMAN GROVE - There's growth on the horizon in Newman Grove.

Earlier this spring, ground was broken on a new nine-lot housing development on the southwest edge of the town that sits on the Madison-Platte county line.

Residents have been seeing a lot of activity on the site of late, but this has been a seven-year process started by the Newman Grove Development Corporation.

"There was a lot of number crunching at the beginning," says Jason Kaufman of the NGDC. "The city council has worked with us tremendously. When that ground finally started getting turned it was a huge weight off our shoulders."

The development is the group's way of combating one of the largest needs for pretty much every town in Nebraska, available housing.

Newman grove has seen a lot of major projects of late: a new elementary school, a new vocational ag building, and even new outfields at the baseball diamonds in town. It's why development corporation officials say they believe if you build the houses, the residents will come.

"Houses in these small communities is the toughest part," says Daryl Guthard of the NGDC. "We're hoping that we can get these units sold eight away and continue on with it."

The NGDC says they hope to be signing the first purchase leases soon. That leaves them to tackle the next major hurdle to growth, day care.

"The ones we have are great but they're full with what they can handle," says Kaufman. "That's a great thing, but in order to keep bringing people in you have to have a place to put your kids."

The development corporation has had initial conversations with Newman Grove Public Schools about potential solutions to their child care shortage. But in the meantime, they say they're ready for new people to move in.

"We don't want to stop while the iron's hot," Guthard says. "Let's keep moving!"