City anticipates possible industrial park location
It’s been four months since the City of Tonganoxie purchased 237 acres to compete in the Leavenworth County Port Authority’s search for a new industrial park.
But instead of waiting for the port authority to start making its decision on the location of the industrial park, Tonganoxie is making sure it will know what to do with the land just in case.
At the next regular council meeting Monday, Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal will announce his appointments for an ad hoc committee that will look into what is possible if Tonganoxie decides to develop the site.
“We just want to make sure all of our ducks are in a row,” Vestal said Tuesday. “We put our best foot forward, bought the property and now we want to see it developed.”
The committee will be made up of members with a wide variety of expertise.
On Monday, the mayor will recommend Chris Donnelly, executive vice president at MidAmerican Bank and Trust; Cecil Kingsley, with BG consultants, the city’s engineering firm; John Morgan from the Tonganoxie Planning Commission; councilmember Tom Putthoff, who brought up forming a committee at the March 2 council meeting; Larry Meadows, president emeritus of Meadows Construction; and Robert Shuck, a Tonganoxie chiropractor.
“I wanted some forward thinkers,” Vestal said. “I felt like this was a good mix. I wanted to get different types of professionals involved.”
Since Tonganoxie bought the land for $1.38 million, it has been waiting on a decision from the port authority’s land search committee. The committee has been looking at some land in Lansing, Leavenworth and Basehor, but as of yet Tonganoxie has been the only city that has purchased land.
Dan Gutshall, who chairs the land search committee, said the other cities were still working on getting purchasing options on their proposed sites.
“I don’t have a time frame on when it will be done, but we still hope that it would be soon,” Gutshall said.
The land search committee will score each individual site and use that score to ultimately make a recommendation to the port authority as to which site to use.
The City of Basehor is looking at an 87-acre plot of land. Lansing is eying a 159-acre plot and Leavenworth has an 85-acre plot of land.
But even though the city is looking into developing the land independently, Mike Yanez, city administrator, still thinks Tonganoxie has the best shot at having its site chosen by the port authority. Yanez said that its size already makes it very attractive for development.
“We have the largest site out there,” he said. “We are three times the acreage Basehor is proposing and the majority of the 240 acres is developable.”
Vestal agreed and said the Tonganoxie site also is more attractive because of its location to utilities and the future Leavenworth County interchange on Interstate-70 that will connect Tonganoxie to I-70 via a renovated County Road 1.
“You know how they say it’s about location, location, location? Well we’ve got a good location,” he said.