Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner news
Miami County Commissioners voted 3-1 to deny the incorporation of Golden, Kansas.
The vote came six months and five days after approximately 300 residents in a nine square mile radius petitioned to incorporate their rural homes south of the Johnson County Miami County line in northwest Miami County to prevent the City of Edgerton from encroaching on them with increased intermodal warehouses and semi-truck traffic.
Tyler Vaughan, commissioner, voted for the incorporation.
“We define progress and have limited our ability to define progress and have come to the whim of someone who isn’t in our county,” he said.
Commissioners Rob Robertson, Phil Dixon and George Pretz voted to deny the incorporation. Commissioner Danny Gallagher had recused himself from the process at the June public hearing.
The commission voted using the Categorization of Public Records and Materials by 17 Factors revision presented by Attorney Jim Kaup at the mornings 9 a.m. study session.
They also used input from county officials, the sheriff, public works director and county appraiser, state officials, public input and more.
Robertson, Dixon and Pretz said their main factor for their vote was Factor 14.
Factor 14 details the general effect of an additional city could have on an area with orderly economic development.
Robertson said he heard pretty loud that people want to be at the table for decision making but the cost of more government will get expensive.
“I think it makes it more complicated—adds more dimension and challenges to add services,” he said.
Robertson said adding more government would add more complex issues.
“What is tragic is that the voices on the Johnson County side not being heard aren’t being heard,” he said.
During the morning study session Robertson said he knew that currently the relationship between Edgerton and Gardner was at odds and they were threatening each other to close down main roads.
“I can only look at what they are saying in the newspaper articles, but you want to throw in another city,” he said.
Dixon and Pretz said they didn’t see any negative effects to the Hillsdale watershed from the intermodal warehouses.
Pretz said he also had to consider the land owners who weren’t for the incorporation.
“Proponents had more numbers, but the surface area opponents far outweigh—landowners have rights too,” he said.
The order and resolution will be adopted in two weeks at the October 27 commission meeting.
Further information will be updated in The Gardner News Oct. 20.