Port Authority discusses Atchsion airpark
A wrench may be thrown into the county’s plans to build a new business airpark in the county.
During the Leavenworth County Port Authority meeting, Heather Morgan, Leavenworth County administrator, told Terry Andrews, the port authority chairman, about a possible business airpark being developed in Atchison County.
She said it was a top priority of the Kansas Department of Transportation to look at a $12.3 million dollar park in the neighboring county.
“If that would occur, that would have a distinct impact on what we are doing,” Morgan said. “That is something we need to keep our eye on.”
Andrews agreed and directed the port authority members to direct any information of the Atchison business airpark to Greg Kaaz, chairman of the airport advisory committee.
“We need to not spend money foolishly if that is going to be a problem for us,” Andrews said.
The port authority has recently contracted with Coffman and Associates to conduct a justification study to determine if an airport is needed in the county.
Virtual Spec Buildings complete
Ed Chapman III, chairman of the spec building committee, updated the port authority board members on the status of the new virtual buildings project.
He said that the designs for the 40,000, 80.000 and 120,000 square foot buildings are complete and some of the finishing details such as changing the building color and reducing the amount of virtual trees and shrubs has also been complete.
“The spec building committee is confident that the building setback fire code and topography issues have been addressed,” he said.
The Leavenworth County Development Corporation will need to review the final details before the virtual tour and other visual details on the virtual buildings are ready to be posted on the LCDC Web site.
Once the plans have cleared with the LCDC, Chapman said the committee will be ready to start figuring out pricing concerns and RFP matters.
“Barring any unforeseen roadblocks I anticipate all of these goals to be met by the next port authority meeting,” Chapman said.
In other business the port authority board:
• Unanimously voted against rezoning part of the Urban Hess industrial park from light industrial to commercial to allow a restaurant to be built at the site of a former green house on County Road 5.
Port authority members agreed that an industrial parks should stay an industrial park.
• Listened to a proposal from Andrews about partnering with a owner of a Leavenworth martial arts studio to help them build a building for a new studio in the city.
Andrews said while the port authority usually deals with industrial building development, he was in favor of the board supporting commercial business on a case-by-case basis.
“We exist so to support the county and the communities in the county,” he said.
Mike Yanez, Tonganoxie city administrator, was worried that if the port authority did move forward with this plan it would be setting a precedent for other commercial entities to ask the port authority for help.
“If we do something like this we may find out that we want to take a look at our overall policy,” Andrews said. “I think on a case-by-case basis if it does help maintain the core of our communities in the county we ought to take a look at it.”
The board agreed that more information and discussion was needed before making the decision.