The Leavenworth County Port Authority Wednesday moved back a deadline for a financial commitment first authorized last March to extend gas service to a new industrial park in Tonganoxie.
The Leavenworth County Port Authority Wednesday moved back a deadline for a financial commitment first authorized last March to extend gas service to a new industrial park in Tonganoxie. Steve Jack, executive director of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, said in March the Port Authority voted to fund up to $260,000 in order to extend gas lines to a 237-acre parcel of land at the corner of 222nd Street and Kansas Avenue in Tonganoxie. The site was purchased by the city of Tonganoxie with the thought of turning it into an industrial park. But development officials have told the city and LCDC that prospects will likely be slim without utilities like gas and water. The Port Authority’s offer to fund the gas line to the park as part of a broader effort to make at least 40 acres of the site ready for building. However, Jack said the original vote from the Port Authority hinged on a business agreeing to move into the park. “The Port Authority didn’t want to expend their money and the city doesn’t really want to spend their money extending utilities to the park until we had somebody in the park,” he said. There is one potential client, Jack said. Codenamed “Project ARC” during the negotiation stages, the company would not actually be located in the industrial park. “But it’s along the way,” Jack said. “So if we could extend the gas from here down to here, and it would serve some property along the way, we could get some jobs out of that, and some capital investment, then we could be killing two birds with one stone.” The motion in March to fund the new gas line was set to expire Dec. 31 of this year. Jack said as a result of the vote Wednesday, the offer was available until June 30, 2013. “Back in March, we thought this was going to happen a lot quicker,” he said. Nathan McCommon, city administrator for Tonganoxie, said things are starting to move on the project. “I expect something seriously different to start happening out there,” he said.