Archive for Thursday, May 22, 2003

Basehor looking for seed money

May 22, 2003

To capitalize on a state grant, the city of Basehor must find approximately $1.2 million in funding, which is not currently within the city's budget.

The grant, approximately $600,000, is funded through the Kansas Department of Transportation, and would be used for making 158th Street a four-lane roadway, with curbs and gutters.

The KDOT grant covers one-third of the project's total cost, which is roughly $1.8 million, city officials said. The state awarded the grant to Basehor because 158th Street is considered a vital street in the city's future.

Several residential and commercial developments plan to build along the road as well as the Basehor Community Library and a Basehor Historical Society Museum and Conference Center. The state also considered the road's proximity to Kansas Highway 24/40 as a contributing factor in awarding the grant to Basehor.

To receive the grant money, Basehor must show it can match the remaining portion of the project cost. Plans must be submitted to the department of transportation by April 2004 if the city hopes to receive the grant.

"Basically, it's how are we going to come up with $1.2 million," Basehor mayor Joseph Scherer said.

City Council members discussed the funding problem Monday, May 19, during a work session.

City treasurer Baron Powell said the city may have to pursue a state revolving loan to pay for its end of the 158th Street construction.

"My initial thought is the only way we're going to raise this money is through a loan," Powell said.

One avenue, which could be pursued in purging some of the city's portion, is altering plans for the road from four-lanes, to a three-lane roadway, city officials said. City officials plan to discuss this option further with the state.

The earliest the 158th Street project could start is the fall of 2005, and the job would take four to five months to complete, city officials said.

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