Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Tonganoxie City Council approves additional measures with Hill’s pet food plant project

The Tonganoxie Business Park sign greets visitors at the park's entrance in this January 2020 file photo. HIll's Pet Nutrition announced Friday plans to build a plant at the park that's expected to employ 80 people by 2025.

The Tonganoxie Business Park sign greets visitors at the park's entrance in this January 2020 file photo. HIll's Pet Nutrition announced Friday plans to build a plant at the park that's expected to employ 80 people by 2025.

August 4, 2021

Tonganoxie City Council approved an economic development exemption for the proposed Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., project at Tonganoxie Business Park as part of a short regular council meeting Monday at council chambers.

The council held a public hearing for considering of an economic development exemption at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, per state statute.

No one spoke during the hearing. The council then approved an ordinance granting the exemption.

The move was the latest step in the process to bring a $250 million Hill’s wet pet food manufacturing facility to Tonganoxie after initial steps were approved at the June 22 council meeting.

The Hill’s Pet Nutrition plant is a proposed site of at least 300,000 square feet for manufacturing of wet pet food products.

The approval is for a 10-year 100% tax abatement. City officials, using an appraised value of $37.5 million for the new plant, estimate $12 million of tax abatement across all taxing jurisdictions, with $3 million of that anticipated for the city.

The council approved the ordinance, 5-0.

In return, Hill’s will purchase an average minimum of 3 million gallons of water monthly and its “best efforts to ensure that at least 20% of the workforce will be Tonganoxie residents.”

Average salary for the anticipated 80 new jobs the company is expected to generate in the coming years is just more than $60,000. Hill’s also has agreed to a minimum water requirement, which is expected to cover any debt service incurred for an elevated water tower at the business park, which the city will cover. The water tower’s cost is about $2 million.

Later at Monday’s meeting, the council approved a resolution authorizing expenses associated with the water tower.

In other business Monday, the Council:

• Approved an engagement letter for consulting services with Baker Tilly.

• Approved to an agreement for preliminary engineering services and resident project representative and construction engineering services with BG Consultants.

• Approved request for proposals for website design and implementation for the city’s website, tonganoxie.org.

• Approved a temporary beer license for the Abdallah Shrine Demolition Derby at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. This year’s derby will be Aug. 27 and 28 at the fairgrounds in Tonganoxie.

Next regular meeting is Aug. 16

The City Council next will meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Council Chambers, 303 Bury St.

Council members again had a work session before its regular meeting as the city prepares to establish its 2022 budget.

Work on finalizing the budget will continue this month. The final budget will be required to be sent to Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski by next month.

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