Leavenworth city commissioners previously OK’d an ordinance to use eminent domain to acquire land needed for a Limit Street project. But Tuesday night, they approved a land acquisition agreement with property owners, making eminent domain unnecessary.
Under the agreement, the city will pay $30,000 to the owners of the property at 2900 Tonganoxie Road.
City officials have been seeking to acquire a portion of the property for a project that will widen Limit Street between 15th and 20th streets and make other improvements. The projected cost for the project is $2.1 million. The Kansas Department of Transportation is contributing $1.1 million to the project.
The portion of land at 2900 Tonganoxie Road was the remaining right of way needed for the project.
“We have all the other properties,” City Manager Scott Miller said Tuesday.
According to the agreement, the money paid by the city will compensate the property owners at 2900 Tonganoxie Road for things such as a temporary construction easement, the right of way, loss of shrubs and trees and the cost of constructing a fence for privacy.
Commissioners approved the agreement during a special meeting that followed a study session.
During the study session, commissioners discussed a request for the creation of a community improvement district at the location of planned hotel at Fourth Street and Metropolitan Avenue. The request came from John Ferguson, the developer for the hotel project.
Miller said Ferguson is requesting the City Commission establish such a district in order to allow an additional 2 percent sales tax to be collected at the hotel site. This would be in addition to the 8.3 percent sales tax rate in the city.
Miller said the money collected for the additional 2 percent sales tax could be used for the property where the hotel will be built.
He said Ferguson is requesting the additional sales tax money to help defray expenses for an underground retention system and retaining walls at the site.
If the community improvement district is established, the additional sales tax only would be charged within the boundaries of Ferguson’s property.
“It’s 100 percent his property,” Miller said.
He said this could include a restaurant that may be constructed next to the hotel.
Under the law, the community improvement district could be in place for a maximum of 22 years.
Miller said the city can negotiate a development agreement that specifies what the sales tax money would be used for. The agreement also could stipulate that once the specific projects were paid for, the community improvement district would cease.
Based on guidance from the commissioners, Miller said he will proceed with discussions with Ferguson.