February 10, 2016

Edgerton council approves issuance of $500M in IRBs for logistics park facilities

Corbin H. Crable


A resolution of intent to issue industrial revenue bonds totaling $500 million for the construction of facilities related to the intermodal breezed through the Edgerton City Council on July 8.

It took council members only minutes to make the $500 million decision. Scott Anderson of Kutak Rock LLC, treated the approval of the resolution as a foregone conclusion before the public hearing even opened, and said council members could discuss further but had to issue a decision under obligation of contract.

In essence, the city had unofficially agreed to approve the IRB issuance before the public hearing occurred Thursday.

“You can discuss this as long as you want, but you’re contractually obligated (to issue a resolution of intent),” Anderson said.

He later elaborated on that statement to The Gardner News.

“What the city had agreed to was to adopt a form of a resolution of intent,” Anderson said later. “If they want to continue with the logistics park project, at some point before the first building goes in, they are contractually obligated to adopt the resolution of intent.”

Under state statute, governing bodies must convene public hearings before making decisions on topics such as issuing IRBs.

The lone speaker for the public hearing on the bonds was USD 231 Superintendent Bill Gilhaus, who noted that he had only recently received a cost benefit analysis on the project, slated to receive a 10-year, 75-percent tax abatement. The school district is the taxing entity that stands to benefit least from the project, receiving only 50 cents for each dollar it gives up on property taxes. And as the town’s population grows with each facility built on the logistics park property, the school district’s resources will continue to stretch thin, Gilhaus said.

Because Gardner and Edgerton share a school district, taxpayers in both communities may see a tax increase.

“We’re concerned this places an additional burden on our district’s financial well-being,” Gilhaus said in a prepared statement. “We’re not here to judge the merit of the project. Our concern is the 75-percent tax abatement.”

Anderson said he understood USD 231’s concern but implied that it should be thankful it would receive anything period.

“You could argue that if the abatement is not there, the district would get nothing at all,” he said. “What we don’t know is how quickly people will come to the community or when the buildings will go up.”

Council members themselves did not see the cost benefit analysis until City Administrator David Dillner gave it to them only minutes before the meeting began. Even then, council members only received part of the analysis, not the entire report in whole.

“For you not to have that information is concerning to me,” Gilhaus told the council, to which Mayor Don Roberts said he agreed.

Look for the full story in Wednesday’s edition of The Gardner News and on this website.


  1. I have nothing but contempt for the thieves and the Edgerton, Gardner, state legislators, especially Brownlee and Kiegerl, and County worthless politicians and government bureaucrats who do business with them along with Gilhaus and the School Board – in my opinion they are a disgrace with respect to honesty, integrity, ethics, character, etc. Then this scumball Anderson is arrogant enough to say once again the ole standby of “Something is better than nothing” – I will take nothing any day of the week before I have to deal with people of this kind for generations to come.

    Wonder what is wrong with your country – your worthless politicians and slimeball corporations have sold the people down the river while giving them the bill – cronyism government at its finest and you, the people, get it from not taking care of business as you should – your apathy and fear will do you in along with people like myself who try so hard to stop the nonsense. I don’t want to sound like the martyr because that is not my intent but I do know it takes all citizens or the whole village to get a decent government.

  2. I’m all for something over nothing. Common Sense would say, “I would rather have some food than no food, some water over no water, one dollar over no dollars.” But that is just the common sense thing to say. Why on earth would Edgerton want SOMETHING when they could have NOTHING. Crazy fools….

  3. It is a good deal for the city of Edgerton, they get a 4 to 1 payback. Edgerton residents may see a decrease in their city taxes; however, that will probably be offset by an increase is school taxes – the largest taxing entity. Gardner and Edgerton share a school district, so patrons throughout the district will see an increase. Please call your school board representative and ask them if they believe it is a good, common sense, deal for district taxpayers. So, sure, Edgerton wants something over nothing, but what are you – the taxpayer – going to get?

  4. As a Gardner resident I won’t get much.

  5. As a Gardner resident you will probably get a larger property tax bill from the school district. Call 856 2004 and ask who your board representative is. Ask what effect this will have on your future property taxes.

  6. Like school taxes are going to be your only worry……………..if you believe that, then you are not informed and educated on the issue or your city, county, state and federal governments. You will be paying dearly for this project in so many ways and for years and years and years and years to come. The pollution alone will be damaging your babies and small children’s lungs and many adults will also have adverse health affects. Gilhaus says he is only interested in the incentive – too bad he and the school board could also be concerned about the health of their students throughout the schools but the worthless politicians without a conscience don’t even have that matter on their radar screen and never will. You might want to think about that before you go to the voting polls the next time – that is if you bother to vote.

  7. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Corbin’s report is an accurate reflection of what I saw and heard during this council meeting. After reviewing for the first time the cost benefit analysis for 10 minutes and asking a few lame questions of Dr Gilhaus regarding his comments on USD231’s disappointment with the financials, not one single council member suggested a need for tabling the resolution for further analysis and discussion and an immediate vote was called for.

    Contrast this slam dunk with the 20-minute colloquy between the Mayor, all 5 Council members, Administrator Dillner, City Attorney, Public Works Supt and a complaining citizen regarding a dog on the loose on 207th Street in southern Edgerton in May 2010.

  8. gardner2 says:

    Judith you had us until you started blubbering on about pollution, the souls of our children and why you know everything about everything and us lowly people know nothing.

    I guess that was all before you said your first word.

  9. gardner2 says:

    It is interesting that here we are a year later rehashing the ol “if it goes away we won’t have to worry about it” or the proponents arguing that if we didn’t have it in Gardner we would lose all control.

    Surprise. Surprise! We don’t have control and yet our taxes will most certainly go up because of the School District. I guess we did get shafted both ways coming in and going out! Thanks Mrs. Peters!!

  10. gardner2: I see you are still weeping since things did not go as you wanted them to go here in Gardner. Myself, I thank my lucky stars and Thompson, Peters and Shepherd for having the integrity and ethics to vote NO on a horrendous contract with a belly-up developer who along with BNSF will only be here for their benefit but certainly not the benefit of the people. They proved that when they moved on down the road and in the process you will be paying dearly in so many ways due to worthless politicians and government bureaucrats.

    Too bad, gardner2, you cannot do the research on diesel emissions as to the damage they do on babies and young children’s lungs but I believe you have a closed mind on that issue and a whole lot of other things. You continue to worship the almighty dollar as so many do including the worthless politicians and the slimeball corporations that are putting the people through the wringer across the U.S. and have been doing so for quite some time.

    Throw all of the insults you can at me, gardner2. I will still be here tomorrow by the grace of God. And I certainly will continue to speak out on issues of importance.

  11. Gardner2 has uncovered the real issue. The Take Back Gardner group just doesn’t want the intermodal here. They want to keep the city of Gardner, small town USA. That is fine, I can understand that. You’ve lived here for a long time and hate to see it grow. Why don’t you just say that? Why the scare tactics, of babies dying, green clouds over the high school, glowing green water coming from our sinks etc.

    The city of Gardner will be paying for the loss of the Intermodal for years to come.

  12. Ryan, I disagree with you. I do not know of one intelligent, informed person who does not know growth will come, especially in Johnson County. However, I believe many intelligent, informed people want growth that will not adversely affect them financially, health-wise or quality of life. The only people that I can think of who would want this project are those who want to make money from it in some way.

    I welcome any business to come to our area as long they won’t make me sick, destroy my quality of life and financially rob me. I am thru taking care of the thieves and the takers in society. Let big biz and developers pay their FULL TAXES like the citizens do for the needs of the community – they want educated and intelligent workers then they too need to pay for educational costs, pay their own development costs (in the future they would benefit from the sale of their property but not the taxpayers who have paid their costs for them) and on and on we go.

    You make your snide remarks about babies dying, etc. and that is all they are, snide – certainly not remarks based on the truth or research that a person should utilize when making decisions on important issues.

  13. gardner2 says:

    Judith, who is financially robbing you? The intermodal project by all projections is going to make hand over fist money. It is unevenly distributed since the school district will be adversely affected but that is the politicians fault, not BNSF or Allen Group. It seems they are doing all that is required of them that doesn’t mean they aren’t getting a sweetheart of a deal but they seem to doing everything that is required.

    Businesses don’t pay “Full taxes” because there is a private/public cost benefit and part of that comes by offering tax incentives. In the end, the BNSF is paying their taxes, bringing the area revenue and all you want to do is complain because you’re afraid the truck rolling down the street is going to knock the tin-foil hat of yours off.

  14. gardner2 says:

    On my point as well Judith “tin hat” Rodgers, the government should be held accountable for their poor decision to not properly vet the financing of the School District. That is what elections are for, it will be a time for the people of Edgerton to hold their officials accountable.

    You can be the people of Gardner will hold Drovetta responsible and those on the Council who raise our taxes because of poor planning and overspending.

  15. I love how gardner2 and many others think thase benefit analysis reports handed to you by the Allen Group are valid – you don’t even know what data they used and whether the data is credible. Don’t think it is just the worthless politicians in Edgerton were the only ones doing you in on this deal, Drovetta and his ole status quo bunch were more than ready to do the same to you and worse.

    Olathe said NO to this project and when the Olathe Mayor was asked about this project, he replied: “We can do better……” What did your Gardner, county and state politicians tell you???? “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Tax ‘Em” and so many people bought into this propaganda and believed they could not control their destiny – bull hockey, your worthless politicians led you around by the nose to get what they, BNSF and the Allen Group and other developers and thieves wanted.

    I will be awaiting to see the roads paved in gold, the upscale housing, a pleasant, peaceful community with golf courses, the best schools in the nation with a rock bottom tax attached to them and some other paradise that idiots think or the liars will tell you to be forthcoming.

  16. gardner2 says:

    Tin Hat, until you come up with your own analysis and can refute anything in projections then you need to slow your roll. You DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, you’re a lot of “this and that, not this not that, corrupt here blood sucking tick politicians here”. You’re part of the problem when your pride makes you believe you are part of the solution.

  17. Whatever, gardner2, you too will be living in the mess with fewer dollars in your pocket………………that is unless you are one of the takers who will be making your fortune off of this project while the people pay so dearly. You know as well as I do that I can not afford to pay for an independent and accurate report and even if I did it myself, the politicians would stonewall me time and time again from getting the information I need to run an analysis. You love your cronyism government, gardner2, evidently because you are one of the cronies getting taken care of.

  18. Here we go again. and again. and again. Rather than wailing about Gardner’s loss of control, which still wouldn’t have helped the school district, why don’t you all go picket The Allen Group about shifting their taxes onto the school taxpayers. While you all are weeping and wailing and wringing your hands, the state, BNSF and The Allen Group have robbed you blind. They must be laughing at us. Kind of like the school district suing taxpayers for more money, but not having the vigilance to watch out for our interests.

  19. Jerry – If the cbo guy said that Edgerton was already contractually bound to agree to the IRB’s, it seems like it’s some kind of inside deal. Why have a public hearing? What’s your take? Anyway I look at it, I’m not going to be able to afford to live here. Who is paying for all these studies?

  20. Well, I am glad to see Jayz is getting some of what is going on…………….now if all of the registered voters would do the same and make some difference at the voting booth, the people might have a chance at taking back their government and making sure they have one working for them for a change. I do want to remind Jayz, however, that your local worthless politicians including your school board are where you need to make your start in cleaning house since outside entities such as BNSF and the Allen Group can only take advantage of you if the local politicians allow them to do so. Get DECENT people to run for office and support them and if they don’t continue to be decent, then kick them out of office too.

  21. gardner2 says:

    Jayz, this is the problem, you (and Tin Hat, and others) are unfairly criticizing the BNSF and Allen Group. They are just working in the parameters given. The State, the School Board and the City if Edgerton are the ones to blame for this mess. Since when did we become so critical of private enterprise in this country? Despite the large tax incentives, of which I’m not saying I’m crazy about, they are bringing in jobs and much needed revenue; again despite the imbalance.

    It’s time to hold politicians accountable and start blaming the right people!!!

  22. Judith I would love to know what kind of a business would make you happy. Please share.

  23. Ryan: Go climb a tree.

    gardner2: The bloodsuckers and worthless politicians work in tandem to give you the bill and those that support them. You might want to support BNSF and the Allen Group but I sure won’t be. When I look at those hire and fire low-paying jobs with no benefits and no security that BNSF and the Allen Group will be providing, I know I will be hit with huge medical and social costs that I will have to cover because these jobs will not provide a living for our people. Review some lawsuits filed agains BNSF across the nation by their employees and you will find out what kind of corporate citizen they are. Review temp agencies listings across the U.S. at intermodal locations to see about all of these lovely warehouse jobs.

    Then remember what Coleman told their temp employees this year when VIPs were going to visit the warehouse. They were told not to talk to these VIPs, not to make eye contact with them, not to stop working, dress better that day and that only Coleman management people could talk to these VIPs. What do think Coleman management was worried about to tell their employees this????????

    I hope you pick your friends better than you do these corporate thieves who are only here for them and not you

  24. gardner2 says:


    The only blood sucker I see is you. You demean the American worker, you demean private enterprise and the economic engine that makes America great. Are there crappy deals along the way, Yes. Is this one of them? Maybe, but no one knows. The projections, which are the only things you can go off unless you have some sort of crystal ball to along with you tin hat, tells us this will be a good deal a positive net gain for the area residents.

    The politicians neglected the school children and the people of Edgerton and Gardner it appears, that is very unfortunate but start blaming the right people and get off your high horse.

    Judith, is sounds like you need to be calling the School Board, Mayor of Edgerton and the rest to task for not catching this sooner.

  25. Come on Judith, what would be a good company that would make you happy? I would love to find some enviromentally safe company, that isn’t a large corporation, that is willing to pay 100% of their tax responsibility, and will help level out the 85% of taxes the residence of Gardner are fronting.

    If you’ve ever working in the corporate world you always clean things up and make sure everyone is on their best behavior when the boss comes to town.

  26. Hey, I have been talking to the worthless politicians for close to 5 years but they don’t like what I tell them – I put a cramp in their sweet deal making. I don’t demean the American worker other than those who don’t work and also want a sweet deal from their governments or want to be taken care of by them when they are able to work. If you would have done your research as I have begged you to do then you would know this intermodal project will be a killer to the people but the politicians don’t give a hoot about that – BNSF has political clout like nobodys business but this was one time I was so hopeful the people would be smart enough not to support and enable them so they would at least go out of state. Olathe made the smart decision and I have seen other cities across the U.S. not put out the welcome mat for them by the city leaders and the people standing tall together but your worthless politicians didn’t do that in 2005 and it has been downhill since then and much of the blame lies with the people themselves due to the apathy and fear. I have been calling those politicians for years and you should see the e-mail bank I have to prove that point – I have done my duty and more so I say you will get what you deserve by your inaction and apathy but mostly due to so-called representatives that have no conscience.

  27. A taxpayer funded $500 million loan takes the “private” out of any enterprise. I do agree that the elected officials should be held accountable for this tax shift. I’ve yet to see where any school board member has stepped up and said this is a bad deal for Gardner and Edgerton taxpayers. Where are they hiding? What about our state reps who will see a 140 to 1 return to their coffers? As to blaming BNSF and the Allen Group – yes, they are working within prescribed parameters in the same way ambulance chasing lawyers operate. If taxes are too high – and they are – then they should be reduced across the board. Government should not be in the position of playing favorites.

  28. gardner2 says:

    jayz, Really!! Any company that gets a tax benefit is now under the umbrella, control and authority of the government?! Thank you for proving my point that the people and private enterprise are no longer masters of their own domain.

    Where has capitalism gone?

  29. Captalism is great but privatizing gains and socializing costs and losses brought to you by worthless politicians and corporate slimeballs will do you in and the price gets higher and higher and higher, at least for the people. I wasn’t placed on this earth to take care of the Allen Group, Lowe’s, Kimberly-Clark, Cerner, Sprint, Walmart, TradeNet, 21 business owners along Main St. Gardner and on and on we go – I want these leeches out of my pocketbook now and in the future.

  30. I seriously think they need to start teaching critical thinking and problem solving again.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jared Taylor. Jared Taylor said: Hey Gardner & Edgerton folks, the School board is concerned about revenues from the new logistics park not being enough. http://ow.ly/29UWK […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Gardner News. The Gardner News said: A lively debate is going on about the Intermodal Park and the school distress that it will cause. Gardner News Check it http://ow.ly/2aYj7 […]

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