Port Authority discusses regional transportation plan

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

While still in the early stages, the chairman of the Leavenworth County Port Authority has been working with a county public works official on a regional transportation plan.

Port Authority Chairman Greg Kaaz updated his fellow board members about the plan during a meeting Thursday. Kaaz scheduled a study session for Jan. 19 so the Port Authority’s Board of Directors can have more discussion about the regional transportation plan.

Leavenworth County commissioners tasked the Port Authority earlier this month with overseeing a regional transportation study for the county.

Kaaz said he has received indication the Kansas Department of Transportation might be willing to participate financially in the study.

Kaaz said the regional transportation plan may be shifting to a prioritization of capital improvements in the county.

“It’s switching a little to that,” he said.

Also Thursday, Port Authority Vice Chairman Dan Gutshall reviewed a proposal for researching options for a program for constructing industrial buildings in the county.

Port Authority Treasurer Chris Donnelly questioned whether the Port Authority or its partner organization, Leavenworth County Development Corporation, would lead such a program.

Kaaz said he liked a suggested option of working with a third party developer. He said the Port Authority may receive a bigger bang for its buck this way.

Steve Jack, executive director of LCDC, suggested he can review the business development leads his organization received during the last three years and gather information about the ones LCDC did not respond to because buildings were not available to meet the requests.

“I think that might help move the conversation forward,” he said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR