November 22, 2014

Edgerton awaits Demdaco decision

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com

Edgerton is still on Demdaco’s list, according to city officials. Demdaco, a figurine importer, announced its plans to lease or build a new warehouse somewhere in the Kansas City metro area more than five months ago.

But they’re still window shopping, David Dillner, city administrator, said.
Specifically, the Allen Group is wooing Demdaco to build a warehouse on the northeast corner of the intermodal property along Waverly Road near U.S. 56 Highway.

Dillner said the importing company has yet to issue word on its decision.

“They just haven’t made an announcement yet,” Dillner said.

City officials are moving forward as if a warehouse will be built, however. This summer Edgerton rezoned approximately 16 acres within the intermodal property from agricultural zoning to business logistics zoning. Council members also reviewed a host of zoning regulations related to the Allen Group’s rezoning request last summer.

Recently, the city identified more than $800,000 in County Assistance Road System (CARS) funding to be used for improvements to Waverly Road should Demdaco select an Edgerton site.

Dillner said if Demdaco decides not to use an Edgerton location, the funds will not be used for Waverly.

“If there’s no building that’s going to be put there, there’s not a reason to improve Waverly Road,” he said.

Additionally, Edgerton officials have hammered out agreements to have Johnson County’s Planning Department review plans for a possible warehouse and conduct code inspections.

The site’s wastewater needs will temporarily be served with a holding tank. Dillner said sewer infrastructure in that location will happen in the third phase of the city’s wastewater improvement plans. Dillner said the holding tank would likely serve a Demdaco warehouse through 2017.

As they await Demdaco’s decision, Edgerton city officials are also waiting for BNSF to issue its notice to proceed. In order to secure $35 million worth of state incentives, the railroad company must issue its notice by the end of the 2010 calendar year. With less than two months remaining, Dillner said the notice should be issued any day now.

“I am anticipating that to come in anywhere between tomorrow and Dec. 31,” Dillner said.

The notice will allow BNSF’s contractor on the intermodal project to begin construction, but that doesn’t mean the city will need to take any immediate action once that occurs.

“BNSF could issue it right now and it really wouldn’t do anything,” Dillner said.

City official work on the project won’t really get underway until BNSF makes a $1.8 million contribution to the city towards the project.

“If they don’t make their contribution until March, we don’t have to do anything until March,” Dillner said.

Comments

  1. None of the parties mentioned in this article are trustworthy and haven’t been since Day 1 back in 2005 in my opinion………..the people will suffer the consequences from their governments and these private entities from here on out and they have themselves to blame because the people haven’t done their job or have supported this horror story and the low life people affiliated with it – you reap what you sow. Your city of Gardner certainly continues to show you what their true colors are and what you get with an appointed Electric and Planning boards and council and city personnel who work for the special interests. Gardner wants me to pay MORE to keep these entities in office and I say I only want to pay more to GET THEM OUT OF OFFICE AND EMPLOYMENT. City of Edgerton, the County Commissioners and the School Board operate in a similiar manner – the loss of decency and strong moral values are rampant across the U.S. and the people will continue to suffer the consequences until they get their heads on straight in my opinion.

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Why would Demdaco be in any hurry to commit to a warehouse in Edgerton? Dillner himself says that until BNSF gives Edgerton some money, possibly next March, the city will not make any infrastructure improvements to entice economic development along a gravel road leading to a parcel of muddy farmland.

    Provided, of course, the railroad issues its notice to proceed by the end of the year, which Dillner calculates could be anytime before December 31. Brilliant!

    Johnson County’s future Emerald City is on hold until the Wizard of Omaha’s railroad decides the economy can support another intermodal project.

    Burlington has been one of the least optimistic among major railroads about the pace of economic recovery. Its CEO has said consumers will be the driver of any improvement in the economy, but no one is buying yet, and coal shipments to power plants had fallen off sharply because of lower electricity demand.

    A year ago, BNSF reported third-quarter profits dropped 30 percent from 2008. The railroad made almost a third of its money in that quarter from shipments of consumer products from the West to major hubs like St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago. Its next largest segment was coal, at 27 percent of revenue, followed by industrial products — like farm equipment, lumber and chemicals — at 21 percent. The agricultural products segment — 20 percent of its total revenue — included major crops like corn, wheat and soybeans, much of that exported to China.

    Burlington Northern cut its total expenses by nearly a third in the 3rd quarter of 2009. Labor costs fell by 17 percent from the year before. BNSF has drastically reduced its employees since 2007, as the recession caused freight demand to plummet. The company had about 3,700 fewer workers at the end of 2009’s third quarter than at the same time in 2008.

    I sometimes wonder if Warren Buffet’s $16 billion railroad is really concerned at all about a measly $35 million incentive from the State of Kansas.

  3. Jerry
    Dillner did not say it would be possibly next March, he said IF IT WAS March, that is like him saying “if it was January, we would get started in January.” He cant say a time frame because I am sure that he does not have a crystal ball and cant see the future.

    Sometimes you get things just as mixed up as Judith.

    And Judith please move out of the area we are all sick of you

  4. Linda, I would love to move but people like you have made that impossible.

    BNSF as always will do what they want, when they want and how they want and you would know that if you ever read their thousands of lawsuits against them now and in the past. Much like government entities now – they don’t work for the people – they work for their own selfish reasons and to take care of their corrupt cronies. And Kellogg, you are right about BNSF – they could care less about that $35 Million because it is not their dollars – it is dollars from the sweat and work of citizens across Kansas. They will be back asking for $100 Million if they don’t do anything before Jan. 1 – that is my opinion.

  5. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Linda, I appreciate your comment and apologize for confusing you by paraphrasing Mr Dillner’s clearly quoted remark in Danedri’s article.

    Used once by Danedri in her report, and three times by Mr Dillner in his quotes, was the word “if.” It was journalistically improper for me to substitute the more optimistic word “possibly” in my first sentence, rather than matching my sole use of the word “if” in my last sentence, as though I were implying Mr Dillner might not see that money for a long period of time.

    I hope this and my original other 328 words did not “get things just as mixed up” as I attempted to describe the theme of my comment, written while also pondering the future without the benefit of a crystal ball.

    Perhaps I have been too harsh with my tone of commentary regarding Mr Dillner this year. He seems to be a fine dedicated young man who is still honing his municipal administrative skills. At times, I disagree with his method of operation, conduct and statements, which regrettably occasionally trips my trigger of sarcasm.

    Judith, please do not think that you and I disagree on everything. You frequently present some quite valid points for discussion and I certainly respect your right to air your grievances. However, in my mind, we do seem to differ a tad on how we generally prefer to offer our opinions about understanding and resolving shared community issues. I would much prefer to have you as a friend than a perceived foe. If you have the desire, but lack the means, to get to city and school board meetings and work sessions, in Gardner or Edgerton, I would be glad to pick you up and take you if you are interested. I am sincere with my offer.

  6. I appreciate your kind offer, Kellogg, but honestly I don’t think I could stand the City Hall stench. The city’s website indicates they will make accomodations for handicapped people, however, when I request such I am told I would have to arrive early and each and every time request that a table be set up so I may take notes. I had suggested a special table and chairs be set up each week for ANY handicapped person so people such as myself would not have to “beg” each time to be helped but oh no, the city can’t go to that extent. I got the message loud and clear that they didn’t really want me there and probably for good reason because I would be asking lots of questions that the worthless council aren’t asking and perhaps holding them more accountable than what they have been. I may be sensitive to the handicapped thing but I have been around the world with that City Hall for years now on many issues and the trust has been broken so many times that I have no trust with respect to that government entity left in me. I have come to learn to trust but VERIFY and I have learned it the hard way and for my own good and the good of the people. But again, thank you for your kind offer and who knows some day I may take you up on it. Again, the Council needs to approve videotaping ALL of those city meetings and placing them on the city’s website – then each and every citizen, even handicapped people who can’t make it to meetings, would have the opportunity to be a part of these meetings to be fully informed and educated and then send e-mails or Twitter or Facebook or whatever for improved communication but I believe citizens need to be seeing and hearing everything going on at those meetings – be the best dollars spent by citizens in a long in my opinion. However, until the citizens start taking an interest in their city government they could and have experienced lousy government in my opinion and something they do not deserve.

  7. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Well, Judith, my offer remains open. I’d love to have you join me in attending any meeting.

    I agree with you that videotaping Council meetings would be of great benefit to the citizens and would help better educate the voters. I discussed it with the Mayor about a year and a half ago and was told there was no funding available in the budget. This morning I called Dr Gilhaus’ office to speak with him about possibly forming a partnership with the City utilizing school assets, equipment, students, whatever. He was out of the office, but I was told they would do some preliminary research and call me back.

  8. Excellent idea with the schools as long as it does not create more costs at their level – their costs are already astronomical. But I would think the equipment, etc. could possibly be there and would certainly be beneficial to students’ experience in this field. I am hesitate to trust Gilhaus or the School Board after how they wanted to charge me $120 to $150 to tell me the answer to my simple question with respect to the dropout rate and I would think that would make all citizens stop and think. I also am hesitant to mix the city and school governments – I have seen intermingling in the past that I have been truly been adverse to. It is certainly worth getting more information. Perhaps there are citizens out there who have this experience who would volunteer their services – it would be truly appreciated.

    I hope all will view today’s County Commissioners Meeting today on line. I could agree with very little of how the votes went. Cronyism and not following written procedure continues at this level of government too. The Sheriff’s Office got by without asking for competitive bids as they are normally required to do (they stated the company they wanted to use was not the sole source for the equipment and I am sure this field of technology is being upgraded very quickly) and I believe the Commissioners used poor judgment in letting this get by and the only reason I could determine was that the people asking for the exception were “good guys” – well, I am a good guy too but I feel all entities need to following procedure – they are there for a reason and mostly to protect the people’s interests.

    Then Denning got three new pssitions for his kingdom using grant money. I asked what happens when the grant money runs out – will the employees be let go, will Denning fold these positions into his normal budget a couple of years from now or will he be back asking for more money in the future for these three positions? I also do not believe complete and thorough information was given as to why these positions were needed – I do not believe the justification for these jobs was shown. County government got bigger today via bigger state or federal government using grant money but again, taxpayer money that we have to come up with. I do not believe you should come up with new jobs just to utilize grant money unless there is a proven need and it is shown how the jobs will truly have a benefit. I believe government agencies across the land are constantly looking at grant money and try to figure out how they can get some of it whether it is truly needed or not. It reminds me of earmarks which I do not approve of – you will never get rid of debt and the deficit if these practices continue. The Republicans moan and groan for months about the stimulus bill and yet they race to the front of the line to get the money – that is when I feel they are hypocrites. The politics need to be set aside in the running of our governments or the people will continue to drown in debt and higher taxes but will that ever happen – I don’t think it will in my lifetime. A few more important topics were involved – everyone should watch these meetings.

    Politics – very much a part of our life but not very pleasant in my opinion.

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