City considers forming group to spearhead development
Tonganoxie's city administrator wants to beef up the city's economic development efforts.
Presently, the city participates in two economic development groups Leavenworth Area Development and the Leavenworth County Port Authority.
Those two groups, along with the city, have worked to develop Urban Hess Business Center at Leavenworth County Road 5 and Laming Road.
In the past, the port authority has constructed spec buildings in Urban Hess.
But City Administrator Shane Krull is concerned it might be two to four years before another one is built here, in part, because of increased competition in the county for port authority funds."For the port authority to be equitable, they need to rotate (among cities)," Krull said. "After speaking with people in the community, there exists enough local talent and expertise with respect to development."
Krull said he doesn't want the city to sever ties to LAD or the port authority.
"They provide good expertise to us," he said.
Krull asked Tonganoxie City Council members on Monday what they thought about establishing a local economic development group.
"I envision this group comprising local expertise from government, banking, real estate, business and utilities," he said.
He said the group would include five to nine members, all appointed by the council.
Krull said he believes the time is right to bolster the city's efforts to attract business to Tonganoxie, which would expand the city's tax base. He said budgetary concerns at the state level could mean that local governments would be required to pay for additional services.
"You keep raising that valuation, you keep the mill levy cheap," said Mayor John Franiuk.
Franiuk encouraged Krull to move forward with the idea.
"I totally agree," said Steve Gumm, council member.
"Sounds good," added Pat Albert, another council member.