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Archive for Monday, October 31, 2011

Douglas County Commission to consider deal to acquire property near new homeless shelter from towing company

October 31, 2011

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A towing company would remain in business and pay rent to Douglas County, under negotiated lease and land-purchase agreements up for approval Wednesday afternoon.

Douglas County commissioners will consider approving a deal to pay $572,720 for property at 3700 Franklin Park Circle, east of the Douglas County Jail at the southeastern edge of Lawrence. Selling the property are Jerry and Laura Taylor, who use the site and its buildings for their business, Hillcrest Wrecker and Garage.

The property is the last of three sites the county needs to clear the way for a new homeless shelter to be located in the Franklin Business Park. The county plans to use land in the area as a future home for the county’s department of Public Works.

As the county makes plans for consolidating and relocating a department that now operates from two sites — an administrative center at 1242 Mass., and a public works yard at 711 E. 23rd St.— Hillcrest Wrecker would be able to stay in business at the same site, without interruption.

The business would pay the county rent of $2,600 a month through the end of 2016.

For the county, the purchase price is equal to the county’s own valuation of the property for tax purposes, said Craig Weinaug, county administrator. And the lease enables a business to remain in business.

“We will get more back on that investment than if we would put that money in the bank,” Weinaug said. “This works well for all of us.”

The sale contract and lease agreement are up for approval during the commission meeting set for 4 p.m. Wednesday at the county courthouse, 1100 Mass. The documents are on the commission’s consent agenda, which generally is approved without discussion unless a commissioner or member of the public requests more information or a separate vote.

Among other items up for consideration Wednesday:

• Agree to buy a private road that splits public portions of North 1900 Road north of the Kansas Turnpike, so that the portion of road would be owned and maintained by Lecompton Township.

• Consider plans for a Sustainability and Energy-Savings Reinvestment Fund, a program that would allow county departments to finance making energy-efficient upgrades.

• Consider adding three properties owned and maintained by the county to a program that would “license these properties for the cultivation, personal consumption and/or sale of plants, herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables, either as for-profit or not-for-profit enterprises.”

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