Officials hit the road for highway
Supporters of a new U.S. 24-40 Highway between Tonganoxie and Perry last week took their plans on the road.
Several Tonganoxie and Leavenworth County officials traveled last Thursday to Washington, Kan., to tout the merits of a new four-lane U.S. 24 Highway between Tonganoxie and Perry. The local and county officials discussed the road with members of an Economic Development Committee, appointed by Gov. Bill Graves. That panel will rank the many proposals the state has received for highway funds.
"I think we've done a great job on the economic development of the project," said Tonganoxie Mayor John Franiuk. "The numbers are just incredible what highway improvement does for a small town. I think it's up to the political arena now to see what happens next."
The Kansas Department of Transportation is scheduled to make a decision on highway projects by early summer.
A representative of the Lawrence City Commission also talked against the road proposal. City commissioner Jim Henry and others in Lawrence and Douglas County governments believe that the highway should be improved along its existing alignment.
Also speaking was Jefferson County resident Ron Renz, president of Alligator Inc., which tests airplanes at Lawrence Municipal Airport.
"The entire proposal that Leavenworth and Jefferson counties put in there basically ignored the economic impact to agriculture in Jefferson County," he said.
In addition to Franiuk, these Tonganoxie representatives attending the meeting: Larry Shepek, Richard Erickson, Pat Albert, Linda Zacher, Chris Eppley, Chris Donnelly and Larry Meadows.