Eudora’s Nottingham redevelopment receives state funding, green light to begin construction; Lawrence gets $1 million for roadway

photo by: Screeenshot via Zoom

Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin speaks on Thursday, July 9, 2020, after the city was awarded a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation for redevelopment near the old Nottingham Elementary School.

A plan to add sidewalks, curbs and guttering to assist a redevelopment project in Eudora was officially granted funding from the Kansas Department of Transportation on Thursday, with construction now set to begin in August.

KDOT Secretary Julie Lorenz and Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin announced the roughly $1.25 million award to complement the Nottingham redevelopment project in a virtual event Thursday morning, and were joined by Gov. Laura Kelly, who was speaking from Newton, in south-central Kansas.

The grant allows the state and Eudora to split the cost of building new internal streets in the redevelopment area, improving existing streets and expanding access to Kansas Highway 10. The Nottingham redevelopment project, which has been at the forefront of the Eudora City Commission agenda for years, was given the green light through the KDOT Cost Share program.

As part of that program, the city of Eudora will match 25% of the funds offered by the state, which amounts to $312,500. The Nottingham redevelopment was one of 24 projects awarded a cumulative $20 million in state funding Thursday — the first transportation awards since the state Legislature passed a new 10-year transportation plan just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“This is truly a day of celebration across the state as we’ve worked with our partners to identify some really fantastic projects,” Lorenz said. “I believe in public sector principles and private sector urgency … At its core, government should serve people and be a good representation of citizens. And that means government has to evolve to the times in which it’s working.”

Reazin said he was thankful that Eudora was selected to be “good stewards” of tax dollars and that the KDOT grant would go a long way in bringing growth to the town.

“This opportunity will help us with both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, but it’s also going to help us with growth in our community right along K-10, an ever-growing artery for Douglas County and northeast Kansas,” he said. “Just to help with pedestrian safety is a big thing, but to keep people moving throughout the community is another part of this.”

In 2015, the City of Eudora bought the closed Nottingham school building and the surrounding 15 acres from the Eudora school district for $850,000 with the goal of bringing commercial development to the site, the Journal-World previously reported.

In September, the city sold a 1.5-acre lot in the northeastern portion of the property to Casey’s General Store for $840,000, and in March the Eudora City Commission approved putting the project’s infrastructure needs on the city’s five-year capital improvement list.

Kelly lauded the economic power of the new transportation program that made Thursday’s cost-share awards possible. Since May, the state has placed $1.6 billion worth of infrastructure projects into the development pipeline, Kelly said, and 25% of the projects awarded funds on Thursday can begin construction before the end of the year.

“That means a lot of new construction jobs over the next year. This is just the start of our work to rebuild Kansas’ infrastructure,” she said. “I’ve committed to rebuilding our infrastructure and putting an end to using critical transportation dollars to cover this state’s unpaid debt.”

In Lawrence, the city received just over $1 million to build a 5,300-foot paved roadway to connect existing segments of West 27th Street on both the east and west sides of the Clinton Lake Reservoir emergency spillway, creating a continuous roadway from K-10. Construction on that project is set to begin in December 2021, a KDOT spokesperson told the Journal-World.

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