February 10, 2016

Brownback wants toll road to help pay for intermodal infrastructure

Governor Sam Brownback visits with members of the Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation before the organization’s quarterly luncheon on Sept. 14 at Mildale Farm in Edgerton. Brownback spoke to the group about the economic impact of the intermodal logistics park and encouraged Kansans to be aggressive regarding economic development. Staff photo by Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor
Gov. Sam Brownback wants a toll road to help pay for infrastructure development in the intermodal area.
Brownback, keynote speaker at the Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation’s quarterly membership luncheon, said he would like to eventually see a toll way extend from Interstate 70 through southern Johnson County and into northern Miami County.
He said despite the soft national economy, Kansans need to “get back to the basics of hard work and dedication” and “invest in the long term.”
Brownback said the intermodal will help move imports and exports more efficiently and tie into Kansas’ railroad heritage while creating 8,000 new jobs.
“We’re going to see it through, and we’re going to grow it,” he said. “It makes good sense.”
Brownback also called for Kansas to take a more aggressive economic policy position.
“So much of the country has lost its confidence,” he said, which has contributed to the current economic recession.
Brownback said America has to maintain its leadership in the world economy, and asked, “What does the world look like if the Chinese are leading?”
The governor also called for lower taxes to stimulate the economy.
“We’ve got to lower our marginal tax rate,” he told the gathering. “People will act differetnly if their marginal taxes are lowered. They wont act differetnly if ther taxes are a little less this year and back up next year.”
Deb Miller, secretary of transportation, was also in attendance.
She recalled the day in 2005 when railroad officials first informed her about the intermodal project and said they wanted the state to build an interchange to serve it.
Miller said she became “a true believer” in the project and the state subsequently agreed to invest $35 million to move it forward.
“We’re excited to see the progress and we will be thrilled to come back for the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” she said.
Carl Ice, president of BNSF, said construction on the intermodal logistics park project is on schedule and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013.
Don Roberts, mayor of Edgerton, said the development would create 8,000 jobs in southwest Johnson County.
However, with a population of 1,600, Roberts said Edgerton “is going to rely on the rest of Johnson County to fill those jobs.”


  1. My research on intermodals over several years has shown me you will always, always find toll roads in an intermodal community or area. Citizens have to pay to drive on roads that are not clogged with trucks.

    We all will soon be living in a dirty railroad town with all of the slime and crime that goes with it. Your escaped criminal caught today in Gardner is just the beginning. All will also have fun paying the astronomical infrastructure costs for the thieves and their paid politicians along with increased costs for crime. Just the tip of the iceberg as to what will be happening here in the years ahead.

    These rotten politicians should be hanging their heads in shame but not those jerks – they are as arrogant as they come while putting that knife in the back of citizens in this area. I continue to wonder what my property value will bottom out at and I know it will never rise again. Get ready for your Council to be helping another developer get tax credits for building some more rental properties.

    No mention of the Allen Group……..wonder what those bankrupt jerks are doing down in Texas – operating with the people’s money I am sure with the help of the rotten politicians……..I hate to think what their action plan is along with some other developers who place the risk on your shoulders while they smile on the way to the bank……….

  2. Just received this e-mail so I thought I would share it with you. I also have in my research file an article where BNSF top guy Matt Rose said a few years ago he was not adverse to the big trucks – no surprise on that one – the bigger the better for ole Matt – he probably has retired to Switzerland and not paying the infrastructure costs he helped create…….don’t ya just love it to be used and abused??? You can always count on a worthless politician to slip something like this into an appropriations bill – they are scumballs with no conscience. Reminds me of when Brownlee submitted that bill that got us a law allowing a TIF for unblighted land and she tried to slip it through without the protection of the school districts and the counties to be able to nix the TIF – if you trust some of these politicians you are a fool – you have to watch them like a hawk and it is impossible to know everything they are doing out of your sight and hearing – makes a person sick.


    Dear Judith,


    Please make 3 phone calls today or Monday

    September 16, 2011


    The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation just announced it is “marking up” (considering) the Transportation and HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Appropriations bill Tuesday morning. We expect Senator Collins, who is the highest ranking Republican on the Subcommittee, will try to slip in another weight exemption for Maine and Vermont.


    Please call these 3 Senators and ask them to oppose any attempts to give Maine & Vermont special exemptions to federal truck weight limits. If these states are given exemptions, special trucking interests in neighboring states will then seek exemptions and soon there will be 100,000 lb. trucks throughout the country. Urge them to pass a “clean” appropriations bill without any policy issues slipped in through the backdoor.

    Sen. Murrary, Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, 202-224-2621- please thank her for her past support and urge her to continue to protect truck safety.

    Sen. Inouye, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, 202-224-3934

    Sen. Cochran, Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, 202-224-5054


    The chances of a large truck crash resulting in death and serious injuries increase with each extra ton of weight over the 80,000 lbs. GVW limit in federal law.
    Heavier trucks take longer to stop and roll over more frequently.
    Overly heavy trucks, particularly 100,000 lbs. trucks, dramatically underpay their fair share of taxes and user fees for the repair of U.S. roads and bridges. States and Congress are already struggling to find funds to address the backlog of road and bridge needs across the country.
    Supporters of the exemption claim that a permanent exemption is necessary because the federal weight limit of 80,000 lbs. places Maine and Vermont at a “regional disadvantage.” However, by securing exemptions for Maine and Vermont, the trucking industry is laying the groundwork for other states to request similar exemptions.
    Even before the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) reported that 36% of Maine’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and 29% of its major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Similarly, 39% of Vermont’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and 40% of its major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. These are some of the worst in the country.

    Heavier Trucks Mean Bigger Safety Problems

    For More Information, contact the Truck Safety Coalition, 703-294-6404

  3. I did my duty and made the three calls to these 3 Senator offices and asked that the weight of trucks not be increased to 100,000 lbs. Do you think my efforts will make a difference???? Guess I will now have to keep track of that appropriations bill and see how it comes thru – you always have to monitor their actions and most of the time a citizen is sorely disappointed I have found and disgusted.

  4. Brownback wants you to even pay when you want to leave town via a toll road……………..

  5. Um, Judith? says:

    If you’d read the article, you’d see that the toll road he’s talking about would be a new one, connecting I-35 to I-70.

    So, yes, that would mean the trucks would be able to move between I-35 and I-70 WITHOUT going through Gardner, WITHOUT going up I-35 or I-435 or K7 to get to I-70 that way. Seems pretty obvious that it would REDUCE traffic around us. And the truckers would pay the tolls, while we still use the “free” interstates.

    Did you miss that part of it?

  6. Well, all knowing “Um Judith?” Post the map/directions how this feat will be accomplished. He said “toll way extend from I-70 thru Southern Johnson County & Northern Miami County”.

  7. Um, Granny? says:

    Did you read the part of the article that says the proposed toll road was, well, “proposed”?

    You left out the part of the quote that clarified that point. He said: “…he would like to eventually see a toll way extend from Interstate 70 through southern Johnson County and into northern Miami County.”

    That would probably mean that the road doesn’t exist now and that there aren’t actually any plans for it yet. Right?

  8. All Knowing–Just how are you going to reduce traffic around us, when the only routes out of Gardner & Edgerton are Highway 56 & I-35???

  9. All Knowing–The yellow brick road??? Are you the one that said you couldn’t wait until the intermodal came because your property taxes would go down 60 per cent??? I hardly think so. They are giving the project a 75 per cent tax relief.

  10. Granny—never assume. You make….well, you make yourself look silly.

    Since you changed the subject, I don’t want the intermodal. never did. But if Brownback is planning a highway because of the Intermodal, it makes sense that he would put it somewhere close to the intermodal, wouldn’t it? That, along with the planned interchange onto I-35 ought to at least help a little bit with truck traffic in Gardner and Edgerton. Because nothing we’ve done so far has been able to stop it from being built, we’re stuck with it. I’d still rather have the trucks going up a toll road to I-70 than cluttering up I-35 between here and the metro.

    All this is silly anyway because Brownback isn’t gonna be able to afford a toll road and he’s probably not gonna be able to afford an interchange either.

    It is at least a decent idea.

  11. If money is needed–no problem, just tax the people. Business as usual.

    Traffic on I-35 on into the city, is already heavy traffic.

  12. Rotten politicans and their thieving cronies don’t know what decent is. This could have all been stopped if the people would have said and told those local politicians and upward, in no uncertain terms, that the people will NOT pay for this project. When the Allen Group/BNSF found out they weren’t going to get the dollars they needed from the citizens of Gardner, they soon packed up and moved and they told you up front this was a private/public project and that public part means you pay the bills and the private part means the thieves smile on their way to the bank. Don’t play into the crapola that you have no control – you do have control but you are too lazy and apathetic and buy into the propaganda to control yiour destiny. And that is why things across the land are going to hell in a hand basket. Citizens continue to do themselves in by not identifying the proximate causes of their problems. Many, many, many have lost their moral compass.

  13. Funny that it didn't happen, then says:

    The stopping of the Intermodal? Your coulda-woulda-shoulda’s don’t mean a darned thing.

    Your friends HAD control of the Council. They tried every trick in the book, regardless of who they stepped on along the way, in order to get themselves into the position of chasing the Intermodal out of Gardner. They continue to inflict damage to the city and its taxpayers…thanks to Larry for the potential lawsuits and extended cost of an administrator search.

    Your buddies promised to stop the Intermodal, they HAD the power in Gardner, and they MADE the decisions to throw the Intermodal out of Gardner…and it MADE NO DIFFERENCE!!

    The Intermodal is still coming. It’s almost here. It’s pretty obvious, seeing the actions of your friends while they had power, your friends like Larry Lawsuit, who STILL have power, that we can identify the proximate causes of our problems.

  14. There were more rotten politicans right down the road and at the county, state and federal levels who were more than ready and willing to sell their people down the river and throw them under the trucks. You can only control what you can control. And you will be living in the slime and crime due to worthless politicians and bureaucrats and they control your destiny because you are too lazy and apathetic to control your own destiny. You get the government and the messes you deserve.

    Now Drovetta once again is trying Fotovich in the court of public opinion. He used the method before and he and his cronies are more than ready to use it again. Lowlife manipulators, connivers, less than honest worthless politicians and their blood suckers know exactly how to play the people and most of the time the people allow themselves to be played.

    Enjoy your horror story, more rigged processes, the loss of your assets and who knows what the slime will be bringing to your doorstep……….the Chinese and the people in India or who know where could be owning your streets, gutters, roads, utilities, your lives because so many are so dumb as dirt to allow themselves to be manipulated. Time for Fotovich’s supporters and decent people to support him rather than him worrying about the people who don’t help themselves.

  15. GardnerPride says:

    In my opinion, Fotovich cooked his own goose. The Mayor is just making sure we all know about it.

  16. The lowlife, cowardly no-namer aka known as Drovetta goon comes forward……..no surprise….they know what their job is………….they have been there and done that already before…….I am sure Fotovich thought the people needed to be informed also……….

  17. As I said before, always nice to know you have the Sopranos and all of their charm installed in your City Hall……………but it reminds me more of the Godfather and the thieves who congregate and operate together………..now they are legal and the people support and enable them and pay a very high price for them…………all kinds of ways to commit suicide……….

  18. one of the 99% says:

    I always wondered, why here? Why not in another direction, even in another county? Why were the locals salivating over this? I remember folks thinking, especially in Edgerton, that their property values were going to go through the roof. Why? because it is a poor town, and any hope that their lives can be improved fiscally is exactly what is to be expected. Yet, they will get the benefit of not having the light/noise pollution at the edge of their schools/churches.

    That aside, I find it insulting that Brownback thinks we, “Kansans need to “get back to the basics of hard work and dedication” and “invest in the long term.”

    Last time I checked folks were working hard and most working their bottoms off just trying to find work. Dedication? I can’t think of any examples that prove folks aren’t dedicated. And “invest in long term”? Really? At this point in time, most Kansans are trying to make it day to day and waiting for Friday to see what Brownback has cut/shut down/eliminated. I am sick and tired of the spin but on things, and folks are wising up.

    Lastly, how does building a toll road “get back to the basics of hard work”? And I agree with Granny’s question of where would the road be built? And while those in JoCo can keep speeding through their commutes daily without interruption, one has to consider the impact on the environment and do the pros outweigh the cons? And by the way, LOVE that he had his meeting at the one place in southern JoCo that the county purchased for how much?! And who benefits? Not the 99%, unless it’s open house. Nah, keep listening to your politicians, no class warfare here. Remember, we need to get back to the basics of holding our governing bodies accountable.

  19. Unhinged night around here, or what? says:

    Gardner listened to your friends, Judith, when they promised that the Intermodal could be stopped. Guess what? Evidently, even they couldn’t stop it, despite having the control over the city they’d so hoped to secure. And evidently, bringing up that point makes you come a little unhinged.

    First you say the Intermodal could be stopped. Then you say that the evil conspiracy people BEYOND Gardner made the Intermodal impossible to stop. And THEN, you start talking about the Sopranos and the Chinese and Indians. And defending Larry Lawsuit’s indefensible actions. Anything to distract from the point that the Intermodal wasn’t going to be stopped.

  20. Yes, it could have been stopped but people of integrity, ethics, honesty would have to be involved. Edgerton just took over where the Gardner lowlifes left off and those citizens in Edgerton could have stopped that project if they would have not been sitting there in their apathetic easy chairs. Three citizens with a conscience stood up when they were so needed and I will be forever grateful to them.

  21. In the immortal words of Johnny Cash……

    “I hear the train a comin’
    It’s rollin’ ’round the bend,”


  22. For not stopping the Intermodal after they promised they would? Yep, “unhinged” about covers it.

  23. Milo — Jobs $9.57/hour. Gasoline about $4.00/gallon. Toll road use fee $?.?? in & out of project. Taxes, taxes, taxes. What is left of your salary???

  24. @Granny

    It’s a job. With unemployment over 9% I’m sure there will be a lot of people happy to have one of those jobs. Also, with all the negativity in these posts, I thought I’d have a crack at something positive.

  25. Milo, but how much is left for the worker after everyone takes??? Will there be enough for housing & a loaf of bread???

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