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Memorandum City of Lawrence
TO: FROM: CC: Date: RE: Scott McCullough, Director of Planning and Development Services City Manager David L. Corliss October 16, 2007 Request for Public Financing for Public Improvements related to the proposed Airport Business Park No. 1 (Annexation request A-06-05-07)
The City has received a request to consider financing a portion of the necessary public improvements associated with the proposed annexation of approximately 144 acres generally located at E 1500 Road and US Highway 24/40. This is part of a request to develop the property for light industrial and commercial uses. City staff and the developer have been reviewing several aspects of the proposed public improvements in the past few weeks. This memorandum provides a status report on these discussions. The City Commission will decide what, if any, City financial support the project may require.
Water and Sanitary Sewer
Based on preliminary review of water and sanitary sewer needs, the developer has requested the extension of approximately 5,000 LF of 12” watermain from an existing 12” watermain at North 7th (E1500 RD) and North Street to an existing 8” watermain at 24/40 and North 7th (E1500 RD); and extending 4,900 LF of dual 6” sanitary sewer forcemain from a proposed temporary pump station within the development to existing sanitary sewer lines in the area of North 7th (E1500 Road) and North Street. The City’s existing wastewater master plan already calls for a sanitary sewer pump station and forcemain to serve the Lawrence airport area. The master plan indicates that the project would be installed (by the City) in approximately two years (by 2010) if required by development in the area.
This project has received appropriate and considerable review in regard to stormwater concerns. The preliminary plat has received the necessary review and conditional approval pursuant to the North Lawrence Drainage Study (NLDS). The NLDS contains numerous and significant recommendations to improve drainage in Lawrence north of the river and surrounding unincorporated areas. As the City Commission reviews this project, staff and the Commission will discuss applicable portions of the NLDS. One issue will be whether there is an appropriate link between the proposed development and desired stormwater drainage improvements.
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Improvements of the intersection of E1500 Road and US 24/40 are warranted at this time, and this project will require that these and related improvements be constructed in an appropriate, timely manner. Preliminary discussions with County officials have begun on possible shared financing of these improvements. There are likely some procedural requirements to meet prior to City funding for any public improvements at this intersection (even with this project much of this intersection is in the unincorporated County). The City Commission, and perhaps other jurisdictions, will need to discuss possible partnerships on this project and the timing of the completion of the projects relative to this development, if approved.
In evaluating the appropriateness of any City funding of these improvements, City staff is reviewing several issues, including: the impact of funding in relation to other City infrastructure needs, the impact of moving the sanitary sewer project ahead in the City’s wastewater capital projects schedule, the proportionate share this development should bear for these improvements, and whether other properties, including the City airport, will benefit from these proposed improvements. It is not uncommon for the City to install infrastructure ahead of development; e.g. installation of City waterlines along West 6th Street west of Wakarusa; certain sanitary sewer line installations, etc. The City has funding mechanisms for the recovery of costs associated with these improvements. Significant public policy goals may allow for the Commission to have those costs borne by the City at-large. City participation in infrastructure financing for industrial parks is also not uncommon (e.g. East Hills Business Park). This has been viewed as a favorable public investment because of the public value of increased non-residential valuation, increases in industrial employment, and the absorption rate for industrial property.
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