Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Panel seeks land

February 6, 2008

From identifying land for industrial uses to studying the feasibility of a regional county airport, Leavenworth County Port Authority committees are on the move.

Committee members updated the agency's board on their work at a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 30.

After identifying seven potential sites for a new industrial park in September 2007, the The authority's Land Search Committee will now assess the acquisition and infrastructure costs for each site and will report its findings back to the board of directors during a year- or two-year-long process.

The board unanimously approved Dan Gutshall, vice president of BankLiberty, as chair of the committee after roughly two years at its helm, with authority chairman Terry Andrews serving as an ex-officio member.

The land search committee will be composed of four other voting members in addition to Leavenworth County Planning & Zoning Director Chris Dunn, said LCPA board member J.C. Tibbetts.

With available space at the Gary Carlson Business Park north of Eisenhower Road in Leavenworth and at the Urban Hess Business Center in Tonganoxie diminishing, Andrews said, "Hopefully : we (the port authority) will be out of land in the very near future, and we'll need to move forward with this."

In another report, spec building committee chairman Ed Chapman III said the group has "been moving right along" with a virtual building concept, which essentially puts a building design in place and takes designs up to the point of issuing permits for potential developers looking to move to Leavenworth County without the expense of constructing an actual building.

Chapman said the virtual building concept met with support from the Tonganoxie City Council which, in a meeting Jan. 14, "was interested on how it would support the city of Tonganoxie and the Urban Hess Business Park."

Preliminary drawings for buildings in the park, ranging from 40,000 to 120,000 square-feet, have been created and will be presented at next month's Port Authority meeting.

Reporting for the Leavenworth County Air and Business Park Committee, County Commissioner J.C. Tellefson detailed a proposed funding formula for a justification study that would determine the need for an airport and adjoining industrial park somewhere in the county.

The County Commission approved a funding formula, based on population and overall valuation in a meeting Jan. 17. The formula is the same model used to fund the Leavenworth County Development Corp.

Using a maximum figure of $100,000 for the study, commissioners agreed to an expenditure of up to $50,770, added to a previous commitment from the port authority of $15,000.

City Manager Scott Miller said the Leavenworth City Commission was supportive of the funding scheme, which was presented Tuesday, Jan. 22, and calls for $21,284 from the city. It will be voted upon Feb. 12.

Lansing City Administrator Mike Smith said the a request for $6,877 would be brought before the Lansing City Council on Feb. 7, and Mike Yanez, Tonganoxie City administrator, said the Tonganoxie City Council would discuss a possible $3,052 expenditure on Feb. 11.

Andrews also noted that Basehor City Administrator Carl Slaugh has been drafting a request for qualifications for the project. Basehor is being asked to contribute $3,018 to fund the justification study.

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