Final action has not been taken on an agreement that would change the makeup of the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

Final action has not been taken on an agreement that would change the makeup of the Leavenworth County Port Authority.

The Port Authority, which is an economic development organization, was established through a 1969 agreement between the governments of Leavenworth County and the city of Leavenworth.

And county and city officials now are attempting to update the agreement.

Currently, the Port Authority has a five-member Board of Directors. The board members are jointly appointed by the Leavenworth County Commission and Leavenworth City Commission.

A proposed new agreement between the city and county would expand the Port Authority board to seven members. The County Commission would appoint two members. The Leavenworth City Commission would appoint two members. The cities of Lansing, Basehor and Tonganoxie each would appoint one member to the Port Authority board.

The county government traditionally has provided funding for the Port Authority. And under the proposed new agreement, the county would continue to provide the primary funding for the organization.

County commissioners approved a draft of the new agreement Jan. 15. The agreement then was forwarded to the Leavenworth City Commission for approval.

City commissioners approved the agreement Jan. 28. But they made changes to the version that had been approved by the county. The modified version of the agreement was sent back to the County Commission for approval.

The version approved by the county would allow either the county government or city of Leavenworth government to dissolve the Port Authority. But city commissioners changed the document to require joint action by the city and county governments to dissolve the Port Authority.

County commissioners discussed the modifications to the proposed agreement when they met Wednesday.

Senior County Counselor David Van Parys expressed concern that the requirement for a joint agreement for the dissolution of the Port Authority could lead to a legal obligation for the county to continue funding the Port Authority even if county commissioners decide in the future they no longer want to support the organization.

Van Parys suggested he be allowed time to discuss the county’s concerns with members of the city’s staff.

County Commissioner Mike Stieben expressed concern a delay would lead to the can being kicked down the road.

“I think the can is at the end of the road,” Van Parys said.

He said city officials have been a partner in discussions that resulted in the proposed new agreement.

Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer attended Wednesday’s meeting of the County Commission.

“It has been a lengthy process but a good process,” Kramer said.

He provided county commissioners with a letter from Lansing Mayor Mike Smith. In the letter, Smith expresses support for the changes made to the proposed agreement by the Leavenworth City Commission.

Stieben said the Tonganoxie City Council also is supportive of the changes that were approved by the Leavenworth City Commission.

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