Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts outlined recent growth and talked about the city’s plans for the future in his first state of the city address on Feb. 19. Staff photo by Danedri Thompson

Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts outlined recent growth and talked about the city’s plans for the future in his first state of the city address on Feb. 19. Staff photo by Danedri Thompson

Danedri Thompson
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A decreased mill levy is one thing growth can do, Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts told a crowd of more than 50 people at city hall.
In the city’s inaugural state of the city address on Feb. 19, Roberts gave a brief history of the community from 2009 to today.
Back then, Edgerton citizens paid a mill levy, or tax rate, of 42.934 mills. Nine people worked for the city of Edgerton and the entire community was valued at just over $9 million.
In 2015, Edgerton citizens will pay a 33.595 mill levy, or tax rate. The city is valued at more than $36 million, and the city now employs 12 people.
The majority of the Edgerton’s growth is due to the BNSF intermodal and Logistics Park KC.
“In 2009, we spent three long months in negotiations to bring the intermodal to Edgerton,” Roberts said.
In preparation in opening the logistics and transportation hub, Edgerton partnered with a variety of entities for infrastructure necessary for the project. With Gardner, Edgerton built a wastewater treatment plant. With assistance from the Kansas Department of Transportation, a new Interstate 35 interchange at Homestead Lane was constructed. Edgerton worked with Johnson County to upgrade 191st Street to heavy haul standards.
“We’ve spent a lot of money since 2009 — $75 million with $0 coming out of the general fund,” Roberts said. “That’s impressive.”
The increased budget allowed Edgerton to address several issues and add staff. Roberts said the city commissioned its first ever citizen survey in 2012-2013. The survey, mailed to 623 households, assisted city officials in setting priorities for the community.
“It really helped council and it helped me out in setting goals for the city of Edgerton,” Roberts said.
With the survey, officials identified three priorities – maintaining streets, building and facilities; effective community development and code enforcement; and improved parks and recreational opportunities.
Officials drafted a five-year street maintenance plan and began setting aside funding to improve city streets. That work will continue in 2015, with some chip-and-seal projects and one phase of a project to make all of Edgerton’s street signs reflective.
Officials also adopted codes related to cargo and shipping containers, and hired a code enforcement officer.
Roberts said the officer has focused on educating citizens, rather than writing tickets.
“We’ve gotten 90 percent compliance just talking to the citizens of Edgerton,” Roberts said.
Officials also hired a community development director. Previously, the city contracted some of its development work to the county and consultants.
“I’ve always kind of worried that when you contract it out, you sometimes get an end product that doesn’t represent the heart of the community,” Roberts said.
In 2015, Roberts said the city council will continue to update the city’s community development codes and evaluate the use of contracted building inspectors. They’ll also consider adding a guest, or hotel, tax. Though Edgerton doesn’t have a motel currently, Roberts said that’s a possibility.
“We see activity of motels and that type of thing,” he said. “We’re trying to get ahead of the process.”
The city also hired a parks and recreation director, adding some recreational programming and expanding existing programming. In 2015, the recreation department anticipates launching a new website that will allow for online registration of park programming.
The city wasn’t alone in adding jobs to the area, Roberts said.
Since the intermodal and logistics hub opened, they’ve added 58 jobs. In 2015, Roberts anticipates the number of jobs at the intermodal will reach 216.
When the intermodal project was first introduced, officials said the project would add 8,000 jobs.
“Where are the 8,000 jobs?” Roberts said. “They’re coming. This was always going to be a 15-20 year project.” year street maintenance plan and began setting aside funding to improve city streets. That work will continue in 2015, with some chip-and-seal projects and one phase of a project to make all of Edgerton’s street signs reflective.
Officials also adopted codes related to cargo and shipping containers, and hired a code enforcement officer.
Roberts said the officer has focused on educating citizens, rather than writing tickets.
“We’ve gotten 90 percent compliance just talking to the citizens of Edgerton,” Roberts said.
Officials also hired a community development director. Previously, the city contracted some of its development work to the county and consultants.
“I’ve always kind of worried that when you contract it out, you sometimes get an end product that doesn’t represent the heart of the community,” Roberts said.
In 2015, Roberts said the city council will continue to update the city’s community development codes and evaluate the use of contracted building inspectors. They’ll also consider adding a guest, or hotel, tax. Though Edgerton doesn’t have a motel currently, Roberts said that’s a possibility.
“We see activity of motels and that type of thing,” he said. “We’re trying to get ahead of the process.”
The city also hired a parks and recreation director, adding some recreational programming and expanding existing programming. In 2015, the recreation department anticipates launching a new website that will allow for online registration of park programming.
The city wasn’t alone in adding jobs to the area, Roberts said.
Since the intermodal and logistics hub opened, they’ve added 58 jobs. In 2015, Roberts anticipates the number of jobs at the intermodal will reach 216.
When the intermodal project was first introduced, officials said the project would add 8,000 jobs.
“Where are the 8,000 jobs?” Roberts said. “They’re coming. This was always going to be a 15-20 year project.”