Archive for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tonganoxie, county reach initial deal on CR1

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

May 20, 2009

After months of negotiation, county and city leaders have come to a consensus and are now moving ahead with developing coordinated land use and planning of County Road 1.

During Monday’s regular Tonganoxie City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted, 4-0, to have Mayor Mike Vestal sign the agreement and send it back to the Board of County Commissioners. Councilmember Jim Truesdell, whose employer HNTB was contracted to do engineering work along the corridor, abstained.

“It’s been a long process and this is just another step in a planning agreement,” Vestal said Tuesday. “We did make a lot of concessions, but we wanted to start somewhere. It’s important to work with the county, not against them.”

According to the agreement, the city will have control of development standards in its urban grow management area, which extends south of town to Metropolitan Avenue. All development in this part of the corridor will be built to city standards.

The city leaders originally proposed a much larger section of the corridor be built to city standards because they felt that land would eventually be annexed into the city and they did not want to annex substandard infrastructure.

According to one of the provisions in the agreement, if the city and the county do not agree on land-use regulations and development standards, the agreement will become null and void.

The agreements also outlined the funding process between the two entities.

The city agrees to pay $1.5 million to the county over the next 10 years.

Tonganoxie will pay the county $100,000 each September for 10 years with the remaining $500,000 to be paid out of any development fees collected over that time period, with any balance to be paid off by the end of September 2019.

Councilmember Tom Putthoff asked if the city couldn’t come to an agreement with the county, would it be able to get its money back. Councilmember Jason Ward and City Attorney Mike Kelly agreed that it would, but it may be difficult.

“It’s always harder to get money back once you’ve paid it,” Kelly said. “We would be entitled to our money back, but it probably means it will be a fight with the county.”

Another factor in the agreement over County Road 1 will be how much the city will contribute to the development consultant with which the county is looking to contract.

RED Development has proposed a three-part, $150,000 project to evaluate what would be the best way to plan development along the corridor. RED Development will work in conjunction with Economics Research Associates, Ochsner Hare and Hare and Integra Realty Resources to complete the work.

Vestal said the ad hoc committee, which negotiated the interlocal agreement, will meet on May 26 to discuss the payment situation with RED Development.

In other business the council:

• Unanimously voted to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Leavenworth County Port Authority, contributing no more than $29,583.50 to Trans Systems to conduct a preliminary engineering study for the 237-acre plot of land south of town purchased for a possible industrial park. The preliminary engineering study is a part of the LCPA’s land search plan for a new industrial park. If the LCPA decides to choose the Tonganoxie site for its industrial park, it will purchase the land from the city at a price of $2,075,325 or the total principal and accrued interest as of the date the land was purchased. The city bought the land in October for $1,378,625.

Putthoff said that the committee was looking into the possibility of an industrial park on the new land and he was comfortable with the interlocal agreement provided by the LCPA.

• Held off on changing its banned dog and viscous dog ordinance until it could do more research on a possible ordinance that would not ban specific dog breeds.

• Listened to a quarterly report from the Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

For more on Monday’s city council meeting, visit www.tonganoxiemirror.com.

• Unanimously accepted completed infrastructure located in Urban Hess.

• Listened to an update from the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce and Connie Tornedon about Tonganoxie Days.

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