Archive for Wednesday, October 26, 2005

County planning more discussion on proposed link

October 26, 2005

Leavenworth County Commissioner Dean Oroke had hoped the county commission could make a decision about a turnpike connector road by Nov. 1.

But Oroke said Monday that discussions will run past that date.

"I think we will probably move that back somewhat," Oroke said.

Oroke said Planning Works, a planning firm hired by Paul McKie of Tailgate Ranch, wants to present ideas to the county.

In addition, Oroke said county planning and zoning officials would be meeting with Lawrence officials about the turnpike.

"Part of the American way is at least to give them the opportunity to describe what type of plan and what type of development would go there," Oroke said about meeting with Planning Works. "We do that through the platting process."

Oroke said Chris Dunn, director of planning and zoning for Leavenworth County, would be meeting with Lawrence city planners next Wednesday. Oroke said Tuesday that he wasn't sure when or where the initial meeting would be on Wednesday, though he said commissioners would not be attending.

"We're just allowing some time for dialogue," Oroke said. "And there might be some dialogue coming out of Lawrence."

The county is looking to build a connecting road from U.S. Highway 24-40 south of Tonganoxie to Kansas Highway 32. The road would cross over the turnpike in the area where County Road 1 currently crosses. KTA then would build an interchange on the turnpike.

County officials are looking at two options: a cross-country route west of County Road 1 or an upgrade of County Road 1.

Tonganoxie city officials prefer the County Road 1 upgrade, while at least one county commissioner prefers the cross-country route.

Some rural residents south of Tonganoxie, however, oppose any turnpike route through southern Leavenworth County.

McKie, who owns Tailgate Ranch, a more than 2,000-acre tract of land that borders much of County Road 1 on the east side, said he would voluntarily annex his land into the city -- if the county chooses the County Road 1 upgrade.

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