Letter to the editor: Interchange costs too high
To the editor:
The proposed turnpike exchange and the addition to the city of more than 2,000 acres at the Tailgate Ranch would be a fiasco for Tonganoxie. We have no infrastructure for such an addition. About 2,000 acres could accommodate 6,000 homes. That could mean 21,000 new citizens. A more conservative estimate of 1,500 homes in five years would mean 3,000 adults -- and approximately 2,250 children added to the school system.
New schools double or triple the size of our current schools would be needed at a cost of roughly $40 million to $50 million.
The city would need a new city hall and a police station for such a change in population.
Additional city workers also would be needed. A new fully equipped, paid fire department and a fire station at the ranch site would be necessary. City work forces would need to be doubled. Additional city hall workers and law enforcement officers would need to be hired and equipment purchased.
The sewer plant would have to be greatly enlarged. Bigger water lines from Kansas City, Kansas Board of Public Utilities would be needed or wells would have to be drilled on city-owned land in the Kaw bottoms and a water purification plant would have to be built.
We don't need a financial adviser to tell us that it would cost at least $50 million to $60 million, in addition to the above school costs.
The new road on County Road 1 would run approximately $8 million to $10 million. Instead, the cross-country road would be $4 million to $5 million. New numbers in a recent edition of The Mirror stated $10 million to $15 million for county Road 1 and only $3.5 million less for the cross-country route. It's a no-brainer cross-country route.
As for the development of the Tailgate Ranch and other properties, the city has no firm idea as to what they will put on that land. So treat it like any other development and let the developers bear the cost of the infrastructure and let them pay for it.
Jack M. Wolfe,