City commissioners are ready to make another effort to buy the former Farmland Industries fertilizer plant east of Lawrence.
Commissioners Tuesday night gave staff members the authority to submit a new bid for the 467-acre property that currently is tied up in bankruptcy court.
The property — just east of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 10 — is environmentally contaminated from years of fertilizer spills on the site, and state leaders have estimated it will take $12 million to $15 million to clean up the property over 30 years.
But city commissioners said they were optimistic the city could use city crews to clean up the property for less money, and leaders with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment also said they thought that was likely.
About $10.5 million is in a trust fund set up by Farmland Industries to pay for cleanup of the property. Another $10 million to $15 million could be required over 30 years to improve infrastructure at the site.
Commissioners approved moving forward on a 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Sue Hack abstaining.
Hack said she abstained from the vote and discussion because her family has an investment in a company that could be a potential tenant on the property.
Hack has previously disclosed her family has an investment in Lawrence-based Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, which has been looking to expand.