What should we do with heavy industry?
Heavy industry is a logical and inevitable part of municipal growth. Tonganoxie needs to decide how to deal with it
Last week the Tonganoxie Planning Commission reviewed a request from Meier Ready Mix for a special use permit and zoning change to allow construction of a concrete plant at 628 Laming Road.
After hearing from several members of an opposing audience of more than 70, the planners voted unanimously to deny the request. The points were well made and the decision for that piece of property was appropriate.
However, our question is, "What next?" The planners and many members of the audience indicated they would like to see Meier bring his tax-producing industry to town. They just didn't like the location.
So do we have an appropriate location for heavy industry somewhere in Tonganoxie, or will it always be denied by the "not in my back yard" syndrome?
Housing, as planning commission member Connie Putthoff said, is a great thing. However, she added, it costs money in terms of roads, utilities, schools and staffing. Industry helps carry that burden.
Should our colorful new comprehensive planning maps contain a new area, zoned I-3, prepared to handle requests from heavy industry? Or should the city continue without that readiness, figuring it will cross that hurdle when it comes up?
Somewhere within all this talk and concern is an overall budget involving our families, our schools, our streets, our utilities and our city staffing, including police and fire protection, that has to be balanced. An appropriate industrial area will contribute much to that balance.