Archive for Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bioscience corporation preparing for future

Tongnoxie group hopes to attract firms to area

May 17, 2006

A new Tonganoxie corporation is poised to lead the area into the Kansas bioscience industry.

At Friday's meeting of the Bioscience Development Corporation of Tonganoxie, the 30 people present elected five people -- Chris Donnelly and Steve LaForge, Tonganoxie; Mike Campbell and Joe Ryan, Lawrence, and possibly, Jason Ward, Tonganoxie -- to serve on the board of directors.

Tonganoxie Mayor Dave Taylor objected to Ward's election to the board. Taylor noted Ward is a member of the Tonganoxie City Council. According to Taylor, it would be a conflict of interest for Ward to serve on the bioscience board.

Ward, who is an attorney, said he would talk to Tonganoxie city attorney Mike Kelly "and see what he feels like the areas of conflict are and to the extent that I can resolve them."

Donnelly said the city's new bioscience corporation positions the city to participate in state-related activities related to economic development and biosciences.

"In 2004, the state passed the Kansas economic development act," Donnelly said. "Part of that action included $500 million for the bioscience initiative over the next 10 years. This positions us to be able to take advantage of that legislation that was put into place."

Geographically, Tonganoxie is in a good place to participate in bioscience research, Donnelly said.

He noted the city's proximity to Kansas University, as well as resources available through Kansas State University. Donnelly said Missouri also is known for its bioscience research and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

"A lot of the agriculture life science studies and pharmaceuticals for agriculture are created and manufactured in this area," Donnelly said. "That's where we think maybe our strengths might be."

At the meeting, members were given a draft of bylaws drawn up by Bill Grant and Jason Ward. Grant noted the organization was applying for 501c6 non-profit status and he asked for comments regarding the bylaws.

"Nothing in there is set in stone at this point in time," Grant said. "That's what this conversation today is about -- to get your thoughts and feedback about the document itself."

Between now and the next meeting, set for noon June 9 at the Tonganoxie VFW post home, board members will review the bylaws.

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