Port Authority board member suggests looking for future industrial sites

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Should the Leavenworth County Port Authority be looking for additional land for business parks?

A member of the Port Authority's Board of Directors suggested this is something his fellow board members may want to consider.

"It just think it should be something in the back of our minds," board member Rick Schneider said.

He raised the issue last week during a meeting of the Port Authority's board.

His suggestion follows the recent announcement that Hill's Pet Nutrition is purchasing 83 acres in the Tonganoxie Business Park to open a factory.

Schneider said another major project could leave the county without much space that is ready for additional industrial development.

The Port Authority is a quasi-governmental agency that focuses on economic development. The seven members of the Port Authority's Board of Directors were appointed by the county government and the cities of Leavenworth, Lansing, Basehor and Tonganoxie.

With the Hill's Pet Nutrition project, the Tonganoxie Business Park, which is owned by the city of Tonganoxie, will have three remaining lots for a total of 24 acres, according to Steve Jack, executive director of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

LCDC is a partner agency of the Port Authority.

Jack said the three remaining lots are in the section of the Tonganoxie Business Park that has been developed to be shovel-ready.

Tonganoxie City Manager George Brajkovic noted last week that the city still has about 90 acres of land in the area of business park that has not been platted.

According to Jack, there are seven lots still available in the Urban Hess Business Center for a total of 20 acres. The Urban Hess Business Center, which is located in Tonganoxie, is owned by the Port Authority.

The Port Authority also owns the Gary Carlson Business Center in Leavenworth. This business center has three remaining lots for a total of 22 acres.

The city of Leavenworth owns the 81-acre Leavenworth Business and Technology Park which does not yet have any business occupants.

Port Authority board member Vernon Fields, who also has argued there is a need for identifying sites for future industrial development, noted last week that a land search committee at one time had been included in a statement of work for the Port Authority.

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