Port Authority approves $200,000 for building project

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Work already has started at the future site of Modern Advanced Print Solutions at the Gary Carlson Business Park in Leavenworth. The business will be moving to Leavenworth from Johnson County.

The Leavenworth County Port Authority has approved a $200,000 no interest loan to help pay for a building for a business that is moving to Leavenworth.

The loan was approved Tuesday during a meeting of the Port Authority's Board of Directors.

The money will be used as an incentive for Modern Advanced Print Solutions, which is moving from Johnson County to the Gary Carlson Business Park.

The Port Authority is a a quasi-governmental organization that focuses on economic development. The Port Authority’s board members are appointed by Leavenworth County and local city governments.

In March, the Port Authority board voted to sell a three-acre lot in the Gary Carlson Business Park to 21st Century Management, which was created as a limited liability company for the construction of a 10,800 square-foot building at the future site of MAPS.

The business is expected to bring 21 jobs to the community with an average salary of more than $50,000, according to Port Authority Vice Chairman Dan Gutshall.

The $200,000 is being loaned to 21st Century as part of an incentive building program established by the Port Authority and its partner organization, Leavenworth County Development Corporation, in 2018. This will be the first loan issued through the program. An earlier Lansing project never came to fruition.

The maximum amount that can be loaned through the program is $200,000.

The program offers a financial incentive to help pay for the construction of a building in addition to the money companies may secure from banks.

The Port Authority will transfer the $200,000 to LCDC, which will loan the money to 21st Century Management.

"The Port Authority does not have the authority to loan money," Gutshall said during Tuesday's meeting.

According to Steve Jack, executive director of LCDC, 21st Century Management will begin repaying the loan from the Port Authority and LCDC once the company has repaid its bank loan.

After the building becomes occupied, the Port Authority will request the city of Leavenworth and Leavenworth County government to assist the program by providing funding that would reimburse a portion of the organization's expense for the MAPS building project.

Jack said the funding from the city and county governments, if approved, would equal about half of the $200,000 provided for the loan.

Gutshall said the local governments have the option of not approving the funding requests.

"Right now, the Port Authority is on the hook for the full $200,000," he said.

The city of Leavenworth also offered incentives to help attract MAPS to the community including a proposed 60% property tax exemption for five years, according to City Manager Paul Kramer.

The property tax exemption has not yet been approved by the Leavenworth City Commission.

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