News and notes from around town:
• News of a mystery meeting is making its way through several Lawrence neighborhood associations. Lawrence attorney Jim Kaup has asked members of the Barker, Breezedale, Brook Creek, Centennial, East Lawrence and Oread neighborhood associations to attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Central Junior High, 1400 Mass., to discuss a development project that would be of interest to all the associations.
Kaup said he was representing an existing Lawrence business that plans to propose the development. But he said he could not yet release details about the development. Representatives from the project are expected to be at the Monday evening meeting.
An official with the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department said no plans from Kaup have been filed with the department. Several members of the local development community also said they had not heard information about a proposed project, although some noted that Dillon’s previously has expressed interest in purchasing property near its store at 1740 Mass. for possible improvements.
• A new report is out measuring the potential financial benefits of a proposal by Plastikon Industries to locate a manufacturing facility in the East Hills Business Park. Roger Zalneraitis, economic development coordinator for the city, is estimating that Plastikon’s proposed manufacturing plant will generate anywhere from $2.5 million to $3 million in new revenue for the city, county and Lawrence school district during the next 15 years.
The range in the estimate is because the taxable value of the property Plastikon is purchasing for the manufacturing facility actually may go down after the deal. Plastikon plans to purchase the former Serologicals facility, which was one of the higher valued pieces of industrial property in the city. Its most recent appraised value was $11.5 million, but that likely will go down because Plastikon is only paying $2.5 million for the property. Zalneraitis’ lower estimate takes that possible drop in appraised value into consideration. Both of the estimates also discount the estimates based on the impact of inflation.
The report will be presented to the city’s Public Incentives Review Commission at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall.
The project — which would add 126 jobs with an average wage of $58,531 — is receiving a positive recommendation from Zalneraitis. He notes that even if the taxable value of the building declines, the economic benefits to local governments are great because the company is not seeking a property tax abatement. Instead, the company is asking for $63,000 job training grant that would be paid by the city and the county over a five-year period. It also is asking the city to issue $7 million worth of Industrial Revenue Bonds, which would allow for the project to be financed at a lower interest rate, but would not financially obligate the city to pay off the bonds.
• Figuring out how to restore an old home and be environmentally friendly in the process will be the topic of a Nov. 11 meeting. The city, the Lawrence Preservation Alliance and the Kansas Preservation Alliance are hosting a presentation from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Lawrence Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. Second St.
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