When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed the possible delay of an Eisenhower Road project to avoid having to issue bonds to pay for the work.

When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed the possible delay of an Eisenhower Road project to avoid having to issue bonds to pay for the work.

No decision was made at the conclusion of the discussion.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said commissioners are not yet at the point where they need to make a decision. But he said discussion was needed.

Commission Chairman Louis Klemp previously raised the issue, suggesting county officials wait to move forward with construction for the road improvement project until enough money has been generated through a countywide sales tax.

County officials plan to widen a section of Eisenhower Road from west of 13th Street to County Road 5.

The county-funded project was one of three road projects that were promised by the County Commission as part of the renewal of a countywide sales tax that was approved by voters in 2015.

Commissioners previously issued bonds to raise money for the promised road projects as well as two industrial parks. The bonds will be paid off with money collected from the sales tax.

Loughry said the county would need to issue more bonds in order to complete the Eisenhower Road project unless they delay the project until enough money is collected through the sales tax.

Under the current schedule for the Eisenhower Road project, bids would be sought for the construction later this year and the work would be completed in 2020.

Waiting in order to forego the additional debt would delay completion of the project for about three years.

According to Loughry, there would be more money available upfront to pay for other improvements to secondary roads in the county if commissioners issue additional bonds. But the county would have more money over time by not issuing the bonds because there would be no interest payments for the additional debt.

Based on historical inflation numbers, Loughry said possible inflationary increases in construction costs due to delaying the project would not come close to what the county would have to pay in interest for the additional debt.

Loughry said Eisenhower Road can handle its current traffic levels.

Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer said city officials see the Eisenhower Road project as being about more than traffic conveyance. Kramer said he believes the project will lay the foundation for growth in the area.

“We would urge you to move it as quickly as possible,” he said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR