The Leavenworth County administrator is preparing a letter to send to potential stakeholders regarding a proposal for a second bridge connecting Leavenworth County and Platte County, Missouri.

The Leavenworth County administrator is preparing a letter to send to potential stakeholders regarding a proposal for a second bridge connecting Leavenworth County and Platte County, Missouri.

The Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth already links the two counties.

But county commissioners have discussed an idea for another bridge east of Lansing that could provide a connection to 152 Highway in Missouri.

Commissioner Jeff Culbertson has been pitching the idea since joining the commission earlier this year. Culbertson said Wednesday that an updated map for the proposed bridge would link the route to Eisenhower Road on the Leavenworth County side.

Culbertson said the route would allow someone to travel from Lansing to Kansas City International Airport, Kansas City, Missouri, in about nine minutes.

“Everybody we talk to has been positive about it,” Culbertson said.

Wednesday’s discussion came as commissioners met for a work session to talk about economic development.

Commissioner Chad Schimke said a link to Eisenhower Road could change perceptions about access to a new business park in Leavenworth. The business park is located off of Eisenhower Road.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said the letter could be sent to other government entities such as the cities of Leavenworth, Lansing, Platte City, Missouri, and Parkville, Missouri, as well as Platte County. He said copies of the letter also could be sent to the Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas Department of Transportation and Missouri Department of Transportation.

Loughry said he will include language in the letter about a proposed preliminary feasibility study. The study is estimated to cost $50,000, and commissioners are seeking to split the expense with other entities.

Loughry said the letter will indicate the Leavenworth County Commission is committed to paying up to $25,000 of the cost of the study. But the cost would be split equally among all participants.

During the work session, Loughry also asked commissioners about what they envision as the county’s role in economic development.

Loughry said Wednesday’s work session was the first of several discussions commissioners will have about economic development.

“I just wanted to get this conversation started,” he said.

He said county officials will be working on a capital improvements program. He said he would like to have something more firm in place before identifying the next group of projects to be funded with revenue from a countywide sales tax.

Culbertson said he does not believe taxpayers are getting a large enough return from the funding provided to the Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

The county government traditionally provides financial support to LCDC each year.

Culbertson said it is past time for the county to find another approach.

The County Commission also provides funding to the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

Commissioner Mike Stieben suggested funneling economic development funding solely to the Port Authority. He said the Port Authority’s governing board could determine how much money to give to LCDC.

The county provides close to $300,000 per year in funding to LCDC and the Port Authority.

Schimke argued commissioners can spend this same amount of money on economic development however they want, but the results probably will be similar to what they have been in the past.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR