Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Developer moves forward on downtown plans

March 7, 2007

A revitalized and thriving downtown Basehor -- it's a concept that will probably take several years to materialize.

But the Basehor City Council on Monday night took what it deemed a baby step in a long-range plan toward that goal.

Mike Duncan of Affinity Development Inc. showed council members the first artist renderings and retail and municipal features of a new downtown Basehor in November. The land designated as downtown Basehor was previously owned by Jerry Mussett and was sold to Affinity for development. The plan has not yet been brought to the council for approval, but Duncan was back Monday to discuss the next possible step in developing the project.

"One of the keys now is to go ahead and start deciding what we want to build for city amenities," Duncan said.

Major developments in Affinity's plan for downtown Basehor include a new city hall, police station, civic center, a few residential areas, retail shops, parks and land designated for school district use.

Duncan said he now wanted to focus on the specifications of the municipal buildings in the plan, such as city hall, police station and civic center.

To get the ball rolling on this next step, Duncan told council members he would like to form a planning committee to talk about the needs of the community, future city staff and police department..

"The main purpose for the formation of this committee is to get our arms around what we can build and what the city can afford," he said.

The committee would be made up of several city officials including City Administrator Carl Slaugh, Police Chief Terry Horner, a member of the planning commission, a City Council member, a few residents and an engineer on the project.

This ad hoc committee may meet as soon as next Wednesday to begin discussions.

Duncan said he planned to report back to the council next month on what the committee discussed. Soon after, he said he would bring a financial package to the council and talk about different options the city has to finance the project.

"We've really just made the first step," Duncan said. "We've put a ball of clay on the table, and we want to get everybody to jump in on this and shape it up."

Also Monday, the council:

  • Approved, 5-0, authorizing staff to proceed with changes to the intersection of 158th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40 per Kansas Department of Transportation recommendation.

City Superintendent Gene Myracle said elements such as flashing lights, larger signage and rumble strips will be added to the intersection in response to the public's concern with the several vehicle accidents that have occurred in that area.

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