Funding shortfall puts road improvements on hold
A disagreement between the city of Basehor and the Leavenworth County Commission has led to the City Council to table scheduled road improvements to 158th Street.
On Monday, Aug. 20, City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper advised the council during a meeting to postpone action on the proposed road improvements.
The delay in approving the road improvements was because of a financial disagreement between the Basehor and the county.
"The county has basically said they would put $50,000 toward the improvements and we were hoping for $80,000," Hooper said.
The $30,000 shortfall is the cause for the delay in the improvements, he said. Preliminary figures put the cost of the improvements at $180,000.
Basehor City officials and county officials recently met to discuss the difference, although an agreement was not made at that time.
"We basically came away feeling that it was still open for discussion," Hooper said.
The road improvements will be chip and seal until more funds can be acquired to install curb and guttering. The improvements would cover 158th Street from Parallel to Kansas Highway 24/40, Hooper said.
Although city officials are helping in negotiations with the county, the city will not absorb any cost from the road improvements.
The funding will come from both the county and the property owners along 158th Street, Hooper said.
All of the properties along 158th Street are either existing businesses or property scheduled for residential development.
Currently, the two businesses in the improvement area are KC Construction and Holyfield Wine and Vineyard.
Hooper said the construction company has agreed to help pay for the road, but the vineyard owners have some concern about how the improvements could affect their business.
Both businesses are on the south end of 158th Street toward Kansas Highway 24/40.
"I think they were worried that the improvements might go through some of their grapes," Hooper said. "We think we can do the improvements without affecting their grapes. The plans don't affect the existing right-of-ways."
There are also three developers who own property along the road. Some of those developers have already started construction or are planning their developments.
Ray and John Breuer are constructing phase one of Prairie Gardens, a 450-to-500 home development, which would include both residential single- and multi-family housing as well as commercial development.
The Basehor Planning Commission is expected to approve the final plat of developer Don Wilming's Regency Woods, an 80-lot single-family development.
City officials said the development could include some multi-family housing and commercial development in the future.
Developers Joseph and Jeff Scherer have property on 158th Street. The Scherers do not have any development platted for the property, although the city said there have been talks of a development there in the future.
Any improvements to the road would be beneficial to the existing businesses and future developments along the road, Hooper said.
City officials were looking into the possibility of obtaining federal grants for the improvements, but Hooper said the application date for federal funds has passed.
There is no current schedule for when the improvements will occur. The first step in the improvement project is to come to a resolution with the county on the cost.