Incorporated in 1884, Sterling depended on the Union Pacific railroad for shipment of its agriculture products to market. The City still has Union Pacific service, as well as Burlington Northern service, for its industries and businesses. Sterling’s economy continues to be based in agriculture, along with oil and gas production. It has expanded into spin-off and service industries to broaden the economic base.
The City of Sterling’s Council has taken a leadership role in the community’s economic development efforts. This has included improving the infrastructure to allow existing businesses to expand, and to assist in the attraction of future businesses. The City of Sterling has worked hard to establish a sound base on which new and existing businesses can thrive.
The City of Sterling relies upon various advisory boards for recommendations concerning City development. These boards include the Planning Commission, Public Works Board, Parks, Library and Recreation Board, Personnel Board, Sterling Urban Renewal Authority Board and Sterling Housing Authority (the final two being quasi-municipal boards).