Senators brainstorm ways to get rural populations up

By: Channel 8 Newsroom

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) As population in many rural Nebraska counties continues to decline, some Nebraska lawmakers are considering ideas to reverse the trend that range from traditional proposals to radical suggestions.

The ideas come amid the latest U.S. Census figures showing population declines in 61 of Nebraska's 93 counties between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2013.

What should rural areas do?

Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus calls for studying the development of a new city near the interchange of Interstates 80 and 76 in western Nebraska, near the Colorado border.

Sen. Tyson Larson, of O'Neill, suggested reducing property taxes in an effort to entice more people back into agriculture.

Larson says part of the solution could be acknowledging that living in a city like O'Neill has benefits not found in large cities.