Baldwin County resources and expertise could help Baldwin harness the energy of a unique time, Baldwin City Council members told Douglas County commissioners during a meeting held here Wednesday.
Factors including talk of moving U.S. Highway 59 east, the city's growth and the interest of Baldwin residents have opened the door to bringing in businesses to broaden the city's tax base.
"It seems like all the balls are falling into place at once," said Jennie Washburn, Baldwin city councilwoman.
"We need to act on it for it to happen."
The commission agenda held a couple of issues concerning the southeast Douglas County town, but the remote meeting also will help the town and county work together in the future, said Commissioner Charles Jones, who pushed for the meeting outside the confines of the Douglas County Courthouse in Lawrence.
"I think Baldwin has to take the lead and we can support," Jones said. "We can help."
The commissioners encouraged county staff to help Baldwin explore ways to establish a business park, something the city needs, said Baldwin Mayor Stan Krysztof.
Krysztof said a company chose Ottawa over Baldwin because the city had no property to offer.
"We did not have any place for them to go," he said.
Also Wednesday, the county commission voted to work up an agreement so that a city employee could register vehicles and take care of other functions on behalf of the county at Baldwin city hall.
"We're hoping to expand it to just about any routine business," said Craig Weinaug, county administrator.
The deal would need state permission and would need final approval by both the city and county. The county would install a computer and pay a portion of the salary, initially $10,000, of a city employee.
The concept could eventually be expanded to Eudora as well, Weinaug said.
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