State, local and rail officials officially kicked off construction of the Great Bend Transload Facility last week at a ground-breaking ceremony.
The shipping center, which will be constructed west of Great Bend at the airport, will provide the infrastructure necessary to move goods from one mode of transportation to another, or, in this case, from truck to rail and rail to truck.
“This is a great example of a public-private partnership that will benefit not only the city but the entire region. It creates opportunities for economic development, jobs and enhanced shipping efficiencies,” said Kansas Transportation Secretary Mike King, who is also the director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority.  ”It will have great benefits for farmers and manufacturers.”
Great Bend was selected for the transload facility last year by the Transload Facility Site Analysis Selection Committee, which includes public and private sector representatives. The Kansas Department of Transportation will contribute $3 million to the $6.8 million project.
Although the City of Edgerton are not members of either associated KDOT advisory committees to the project, Edgerton officials did attend several KDOT Freight Advisory Committee meetings to listen, said Beth Linn, city administrator.
Linn said she was not familiar enough with the Great Bend facility to know whether it would assist or compete with the Logistics Park Kansas City.
“KDOT has been a tremendous partner to Logistics Park Kansas City and its partners (BNSF Railway, City of Edgerton and NorthPoint Development),” said Donald Roberts, Edgerton mayor. “KDOT’s commitment to investment in high quality infrastructure built to move freight more efficiently has been critical to the success at LPKC and ultimately in bringing over 1,800 jobs to the State of Kansas since opening in October 2013.”
From 2014-2016, appraised property values at LPKC have increased more than 9,500 percent; from $1,597,320 in 2014 to a current appraised value of $153,225,181, according to a property analysis.
Even though properties are currently abated, under the  PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program, as established by the State of Kansas:
-Edgerton receives an additional $397,000;
Fire District # 1 an additional $186,500; and the
-USD 231 Capital Outlay $94,300.
Full taxes will be received when abatements 10 year abatements are complete.
The consortium that developed the proposal for the Great Bend facility comprises the city of Great Bend, the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (K&O), and Kansas Transload Services. Sherwood Companies of Oklahoma City will operate the facility, which is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.