City of Tonganoxie, port authority share cost of business park engineering study, RFP effort
The city of Tonganoxie's budget constraints tended to be part of the discussion Monday of all city council agenda items, and that was no different when council members considered what was identified as a possible solution to the city's financial pinch.
Nonetheless,the council approved two measures said to be needed to help market Tonganoxie Business Park.
The council first approved a contract with TranSystems for an engineering study on how to phase in the $14 million in infrastructure needed to make functional the 237-acres Tonganoxie Business Park south of the city near Leavenworth County Road 1 and Kansas Avenue.
TranSystems' winning bid submitted to the Leavenworth County Port Authority was for $7,320. And the council learned, the port authority agreed to pay for half the study.
Despite that offer, Councilman Jim Truesdell said he was concerned about the city paying for that and other studies when it was cutting street projects.
"What are we getting for it?" he asked. "I'm getting concerned."
Councilman Jason Ward said the city would get answers that would help it market the industrial park. It was understood the park would have to be developed in phases and the study would let the city, potential developers and tenants know what their costs would be, he said.
City Administrator Mike Yanez said the study was an investment that could turn around Tonganoxie's financial status.
"That industrial park is going to create property taxes, rooftops and retail," he said.
"This industrial park — we need to keep moving forward even if we are moving forward in small steps."
The majority of the council agreed and approved the agreement with the port authority to split the cost of the study.
The council also agreed to split the cost of a contract with Springsted Inc. to draft and distribute requests for proposals to private sector entities interested in working with the city to develop the industrial park. Springsted's work is not to exceed $4,000.
Yanez said the proposal would ask private entities to consider sharing marketing and development cost or to even take over the park.
"It's like going fishing," he said of the request for proposal process.
In other business, the council:
• Heard comment from Ward about his statement at the March 8 meeting regarding the turnout at the Feb. 22 council meeting in response to changes proposed changes in city code. He did not say, as stated in The Mirror, that another council member made "deliberate misrepresentations" that worked up residents , he said. Rather, he said his comment was he believed a council member "shared information that led to a gross misrepresentation" of the council's position, he said.
Ward once again endorsed the suggestion of Councilman Burdel Welsh to have two readings of ordinances, with the second reading coming with final passage. Such a process would allow residents to know the language of measures the council was actually voting to enact, he said.
• Appointed Rick Pruden to the Tonganoxie Planning Commission with the resignation of Steve Clark.
• Approved a new business park zoning classification that will apply to the Tonganoxie Business Park.
• Approved purchase of six bleachers for the ball fields for $6,450 to be paid from the Recreation Commission certificate of participation.
- Approved the city's 2010 funding for the Leavenworth County Development Corporation of $6,849.
• Tabled a recommendation Tammie McCutchen and Adam Griffith fill vacant firefighter positions.
• Hired Josh Sudduth to be a meter reader/water distribution operator.
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