Archive for Wednesday, September 13, 2006

City to pay for study of highway interchange effects

September 13, 2006

Tonganoxie City Council members agreed Monday to spend up to $5,500 for an economic impact study on the effects of an interchange on the Kansas Turnpike.

The study, which will cost $8,500, will try to gauge the economic impact of an interchange on County Road 1, three miles south of Tongan-oxie. The Leavenworth County Development Corporation and Leavenworth Port Authority will share the $3,000 balance.

Richard Caplan and Associates of Prairie Village will conduct the study.

In a related matter, council member Velda Roberts said she wanted to emphasize that the city has not committed to spending $2.8 million to upgrade County Road 1. In January, the city council agreed -- in concept -- to spend up to $2.8 million, but has not settled on whether to spend any money for the $14.5 million upgrade.

"There has not been a commitment of $2.8 million," Roberts said. "And we're a long way from being able to determine what contribution can be made from the city.

"This council has not committed to any amount."

The county has committed to spend about $8 million in sales tax revenue, and the Kansas Turnpike Authority is considering a $2 million contribution to the project. And U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said a federal highway bill contains another $1 million for the road.

At Monday's meeting, local resident Paula Crook said she believes Tonganoxie residents should vote on whether to contribute any funds to the road project. Crook was among six local residents who circulated unsuccessful petitions seeking a vote on the issue.

In another related topic, the city has received a letter from Bill New, chairman of First State Bank and Trust, which is trustee for the Julius and Margaret Leighty estate. The trust owns 240 acres of land and has about 0.75 of a mile of frontage on County Road 1.

"As trustee of the property, we perceive that it will be to the benefit of the trust's beneficiaries to market the property as potential development property within the city limits of the city of Tonganoxie," New wrote. "Subject to a mutual agreement on the extension of municipal services and a comprehensive land use plan for the area, it is our intent to petition the city of Tonganoxie for annexation into the city limits."

In other matters Monday night, council members:

  • On a 5-0 vote, waived $115 in building permit fees for Tonganoxie Christian Church, which is planning to build a 16-by-24-foot lawnmower shed on the south side of the church property.
  • Approved, 5-0, a special event application for the Tonganoxie High School Homecoming Parade, set for 2 p.m. Oct. 6.

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