Archive for Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Energy firm’s decision unfortunate for county

January 2, 2002

It is too bad that Leavenworth County apparently has missed out on Duke Energy's plans for a natural-gas powered electrical generation plant.

The county site, which is about 10 miles north of Tonganoxie and in the local school district, has been put on the shelf for at least a year. Duke officials said other sites across the country apparently beat out Leavenworth County.

But they added that the county will be a contender again, perhaps as early as 2002, as the energy giant continues to seek sites appropriate to build power plants.

If the Leavenworth County site were chosen for construction next year, the plant would come on line in 2004. The Tonganoxie school district would not see tax benefits until 10 years later after tax abatements expire.

The plant would be a benefit for the county and, ultimately, the Tonganoxie school district, so it will be worthwhile for county and Leavenworth Area Development officials to continue courting Duke Energy.

Gary Carlson, LAD executive director, remains optimistic.

"The good news is that our plant is on an extremely short list for construction in the near future," Carlson said. "I am confident at this point in time that it's not a matter of if it's a matter of when."

Let's hope his optimism is well-placed.

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