James Oltman’s letter in the 3/31/2021 issue of your paper was interesting, explaining the plight of Edgerton and describing it as a “community that struggled to provide for themselves”. When I was born 73 years ago my parents owned 20 acres on the south side of 207th Street between Edgerton Road and the railroad tracks (the railroad crossing currently scheduled to be modified to allow uninterrupted access to Edgerton in case of emergencies). My paternal grandparents (and their 6 children) lived in Edgerton and my maternal grandmother lived on a farm south of I-35 and west of Sunflower Road (currently owned by the Simms family). I spent A LOT of time around Edgerton in the 1950’s, 60’s, and early 70’s. Subsequently I do not need a history lesson from Mr. Oltman explaining that Edgerton has never been categorized as “the jewel of southwest Johnson County”.
What I desperately do need from Mr. Oltman and his group is a detailed response explaining WHY it is necessary to appropriate land right up to the western edge of Gardner and then proceed to gobble up more land south and east of Gardner basically encircling the people who voted to reject the Intermodals plans!! Does it make sense that Intermodal warehouses are less than 1/8 of a mile from Gardner residences on the west and within less than 1 mile to the south? (FYI—Edgerton is 2 1/2 miles from the closest warehouses AND permanently protected by a north/south strip of land owned by Johnson County dedicated to the Bull Creek Run Park.)
As I stated in a previous letter, If Edgerton wants to elevate its economy and way of life then why are they bound and determined to place the burden of unsightly warehouses, commuter traffic, and heavy interstate truck traffic on Gardner?? Gardner’s southern residential developments and small rural acreages are being sabotaged by NorthPoint’s aggressive land acquisitions that are virtually surrounding Gardner!! If Mr. Oltman’s group wants to toot their horn about all the revenue and tax monies they are bringing into the area then they should do everything humanly possible to see that: 1. A bridge is built connecting the Intermodal to the land north of the railroad tracks. 2. 56 Hwy is modified and improved to carry heavy-haul truck traffic. 3. NorthPoint is directed to aggressively pursue purchasing lands north and west of Edgerton for future warehouses they need. 4. Edgerton’s Planning Commission and Zoning Boards approve building permits for new houses and apartment buildings so people currently commuting to their warehouse jobs can live much closer.
As we watch the activities in the coming years I doubt if area residents will see any of these four suggestions occur. The City of Edgerton is too happy right now, sitting west of the “protective barrier” provided by Bull Creek Run Park and watching Gardner battle with all of the “progress” NorthPoint is providing!! I’m not really against progress, I just think if Edgerton is going to be “a champion of progress” they need to step up to the plate and build progress on their own soil, not encroach all over land so close to Gardner and then tell us what a great job they are doing!!
Carl G. Peer