Mayor 11/15/2022

Mayor Tim Reazin and other commissioners met with the city’s Planning Commission Monday night to discuss planning surrounding the Panasonic development. Reazin said he sees the STAR Bond project as purposeful growth.

Eudora’s potential sports arena plan is progressing as city commissioners approved several actions related to its development Monday night.

Commissioners authorized City Manager Barack Matite to spend $425,000 on infrastructure planning, consultant fees, designing, grant services, engineering and surveying for the proposed STAR Bond district. 

American Rescue Plan Act funds will go toward $225,000 of this spending, $100,000 will come from the ¾ cents capital improvement plan sales tax fund and $90,000 will be transferred from the city’s general fund. 

The commission also approved a letter of intent from Eastern Sports Management, the group that would fund and maintain the proposed arena. 

Commissioner Alex Curnes asked about the requirement that the city be responsible for all capital improvement within the sports complex while Eastern Sports Management maintains the development. 

Vieste LLC CEO Michael Comparato said a group of people will forecast what the capital replacement reserve fund will need to be for the facility over time. 

“We hire a sponsorship and naming rights consultant who will go out and sell a tiered series of long-term naming rights and high or low level sponsorship contracts,” Comparato said. “The net proceeds from those contracts will go into an escrow account. Effectively, it becomes a zero-sum game for the city.”

A real estate advisor agreement with CBC Real Estate Group and a proposal agreement with Slaggie Architect Inc. were also approved by commissioners. 

No one present provided public comment related to these agenda items.

In other business, the K-10/Church Street Shared Use Path is one step closer to becoming reality. Commissioners authorized Matite to execute a design contract for the path with CFS Engineers. The contract will cost over $94,000. 

This contract follows the awarding of a grant from KDOT to the city. The project is estimated to cost over $1.3 million. KDOT will match 80% — a little under $950,000. The path will be 8 feet wide, and stretch from 15th Street to 20th Street. ADA ramps and crosswalks will also be included. 

Mayor Tim Reazin said it’s a relief the path is finally being installed, and it might be a year and a half before it’s completed. 

In other business, Matite executed a contract worth over $27,000 with CFS Engineers to perform an analysis of the city’s wastewater infrastructure. Public Works Director Branden Boyd said this work is necessary before the Panasonic factory brings more people to Eudora. 

“There’s a potential for the sewer infrastructure to be impacted considerably,” Boyd said. 

Boyd also discussed air supply problems at the wastewater facility, following a letter from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment about elevated ammonia readings. 

Commissioners approved an agreement posed by Boyd, and CAS Constructors LLC. will work to repair the air line for an amount not to exceed $37,500. 

In other business, commissioners approved the purchase of Digiticket equipment and software licenses for eight police patrol vehicles, totaling over $30,000. The technology allows officers to create electronic citations, which can be automatically transferred to the local records management system.

Following the general meeting and an executive session to discuss land acquisition, commissioners held a joint work session with the Eudora Planning Commission. The group largely discussed working together ahead of the projected growth associated with Panasonic. 

Reazin said his goal is purposeful growth, and he sees the STAR Bond district as part of that. If there are more retail offerings in Eudora, residents won’t have to leave town to access them, making it feel like more of a community, he said. 

“I think that’s what we’re trying to do; keep the community small but not out-tax our rooftops,” Reazin said. “It feels like as we grow, if we don’t have any retail offerings and this kind of growth, then we’re going to continue to put the tax burden on residential. With that, it’s hard to fix our aging infrastructure.”

The Eudora Planning Commission will meet with the Lawrence Planning Commission at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lawrence City Hall to discuss an application for a quarry outside of Eudora city limits. The meeting will also be available virtually here

Reach reporter Abby Shepherd at eudoratimes@gmail.com.

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