Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Port Authority panel ranks industrial sites in county

October 3, 2007

Leavenworth County Port Authority's Land Search Committee has officially identified seven sites in the county that are ripe for industrial park development.

Although the specific location of each site is to remain confidential to discourage speculation, land search committee chairman Dan Gutshall told authority members at their meeting Sept. 26 that at least one site in each of the county's four major municipalities and one private site were evaluated, using a detailed scoring system that has been in the works for more than a year.

The scores, which included seven components such as transportation, utility access and cost, will be used by the LCPA and the Leavenworth County Development Corp. to attract prospective manufacturers to the area.

"The information is a very valuable source of detail that can be passed on to potential buyers that they don't get in other communities," Gutshall said.

He said that, while other political and economic factors may ultimately affect which sites are developed, the committee wanted to provide as qualitative an evaluation as possible.

County Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson said actually identifying the seven properties in the report is not nearly as important as establishing a set process, now, to evaluate potential sites for development.

Tonganoxie City Admin-istrator Mike Yanez concurred.

"Business leaders, as they make decisions on where they want economic and industrial development to go -- public or private -- at least will have objective information to start with," he said.

Also in the LCPA meeting, economic development coordinator Christy Isaacs reported that a letter of intent was submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to complete the Urban Hess Business Center project, a 25-acre site located at County Road 5 and Laming Road in Tonganoxie.

Isaacs said Tonganoxie engineers approved plans for the business center's completion and she hoped ground could start moving in late October or early November, with business openings next spring.

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