Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2004

All not in agreement on business park plan

June 10, 2004

Not everybody seems to be in favor of the idea of a business park in town.

"I've had no positive support from the people that's contacted me," Baldwin City Council Member Ted Brecheisen said. "There are some pluses and a lot of minuses for this thing."

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Brecheisen told the council at Monday's meeting he thought the city should not extend its option to buy a 43-acre section of land owned by Mildred Allen.

The $10,500 option expires this month, but can be extended for another year for an additional $10,500. Both option payments can be applied to the purchase price of $273,000.

Though the Douglas County Commission recently agreed the county would be willing to purchase the section of land on the northwest edge of town in exchange for Baldwin developing the infrastructure, the city needed to put forth the $10,500 to hold onto the land until a deal was made with the county.

The $10,500 to extend the purchase option was listed in this month's appropriation ordinance -- a statement of bills -- to be approved by the council.

But Brecheisen wasn't in favor of approving the $10,500 to extend the option to purchase the land.

"There may be too many unanswered questions to pursue this further," he said.

Even though the county would ultimately purchase the land, Brecheisen said he didn't think Baldwin could afford developing the infrastructure.

"I think the city has about all the debt load it needs," he said.

Brecheisen said he had heard private developers were interested in developing a business park in Baldwin, and if the city and county pursued their plans, that would shut down the private developers.

He said he also thought the city had not been hurting for growth recently.

"I think growth has been good for the city in the past few years," he said. "I don't think Baldwin is going to stop growing or spending at home if we don't approve this."

Brecheisen moved to approve the appropriations ordinance without the inclusion of the $10,500 for the option to buy. The motion died for lack of a second.

No other council member commented on the issue, but a motion to accept the appropriations ordinance, including the $10,500, was approved in a 4-1 vote, with Brecheisen the lone dissenting vote.

In other business, the city council:

  • Approved in a 5-0 vote to contribute $300 to Citizens for Baldwin City for the annual Fourth of July celebration.
  • Approved in a 5-0 vote to re-appoint Amy Berg to the Baldwin City Recreation Commission. Her term will expire in 2008.

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