When they met Thursday, Leavenworth County commissioners approved a resolution expressing intent to issue industrial revenue bonds for an economic development project near Tonganoxie.

When they met Thursday, Leavenworth County commissioners approved a resolution expressing intent to issue industrial revenue bonds for an economic development project near Tonganoxie.

The resolution indicates commissioners intend to issue about $500 million in industrial revenue bonds. But Interim County Counselor David Van Parys said the county government would not be responsible for repaying these bonds. He said the bonds would serve as a mechanism for allowing a company to make payments in lieu of property taxes over a 10-year period.

More steps are required before the county government can enter into such an arrangement. But County Administrator Mark Loughry said a developer has asked for an 80 percent property tax abatement for the project.

Under the arrangement, the company would pay a set amount each year equal to about 20 percent of what would be its property taxes.

The company is looking at opening a plant in Leavenworth County. The company is looking at utilizing two pieces of property. One, a 233-acre parcel, is located at 222nd Street and Hemphill Road. The other property, an 87-acre parcel, is located at U.S. 24-40 and Honey Creek Road.

County officials have not yet released the name of the company, but Loughry said an announcement could come soon.

The project has been referred to as Project Sunset.

The resolution approved by commissioners Thursday mentions Binswanger Advisory Services, but this apparently is an intermediary for the company looking to open a plant in Leavenworth County.

Loughry said the company that would operate the plant is the largest of its kind for its industry.

He said the company has other plants, but the one in Leavenworth County would be unique.

“It’s a new format for them,” he said.

Even with an 80 percent tax abatement, Loughry said the company still would be paying around $1.3 million, or possibly more, to the county and other tax collecting entities.

“It’s a significant increase for all the taxing entities in the area,” he said.

A public hearing will be required before the County Commission can issue industrial revenue bonds.

Van Parys said the resolution approved Thursday “basically gets the process moving.”

At some point, the county also will need to enter into a development agreement with the company, Van Parys said.

Loughry said Thursday’s resolution was a followup to agreements that were approved by commissioners earlier in the week.

On Monday, commissioners approved agreements to pay Atmos Energy $1.344 million and Suburban Water $6 million to extend utilities for the proposed the plant. Under the agreements, the companies will repay the county over time with revenue from the utilities sold through the extended lines.

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