Bourbon County Economic Development Council is working to find a full-time economic development director, facilitate the starting of the new meat process plant, facilitate a new multi-purpose arena, and expanding housing in the area, according to Greg Motley, president.
BEDCO began a search for an economic development director a few months ago and had one narrowed down, but that person has declined the position, Greg Motley, president of BEDCO said.
“The process was restarted,” Motley said. “In the meantime, I will be acting director.”
“We will continue interviews until the position is filled,”he said.
“Since 1992, BEDCO has been at the center of Economic Development in Bourbon County, and under the guidance of a reconstituted board that represents the whole county, we are stronger than ever,” Motley said in a press release.
Economic development services provided by BEDCO are primarily matching resources to the economic needs of county entities and businesses, he said.
Motley gave some details of three other projects on the horizon.
Meat Processing Plant
“Since the Micro-meat processing plant was approved, we are moving forward with facilitating the land/lots swap between KW Cattle, Billy Madison and BEDCO,” he said.
“KW Cattle is swapping 46 acres south of the (KDOT )State Highway facility on the east side of 69 Highway for two industrial park tracts,” Motley said. “One is about seven acres, the other is about 18 acres, currently owned by BEDCO. They are located on either side of the Christian Learning Center. The new micro-meat processing facility will pay BEDCO some cash considerations, approximately equal to BEDCO’s expenses in the transaction.”
KW Cattle is doing a trade with BEDCO that is advantageous to the community, Motley said.
“They are trading 46 acres, a nice piece of flat ground, for less valuable property of rough ground of 25 acres,” he said. “They wanted to help Fort Scott and Bourbon County. In addition, they can expand the property they own, Christian Learning Center, in the future.”
“BEDCO will take possession (of the land parcel), then sell to the meat processing plant,” he said. “It should be finalized this month.”
“We are also working with local investors on a potential STAR Bonds project for Bourbon County,” he said. “Some Bourbon County citizens are proposing the issuance of Star Bonds to partially finance a new multipurpose arena in Bourbon County, along with improvements to the downtown central business district.”
“Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) Bonds are a financing tool that allows Kansas municipalities to issue bonds to finance the development of major commercial, entertainment and tourism projects,” according to https://www.kansascommerce.gov/program/community-programs/star-bonds/
“The bonds are paid off through the sales tax revenue generated by the development.”
“The intent is to increase regional and national visitation to Kansas.”
“The bonds would cover about 50% of the project, and private investment, along with bank financing would cover the balance, he said. ” The Star Bonds would be repaid by the increase in sales tax collections in a Star Bond District, whose boundaries are yet to be determined.”
“Atchison, KS, a similar-sized community to Fort Scott and Bourbon County, issued $2.3 million in Star Bonds in 2019 to build a museum,” he said. “Attached is a chart of all Star Bonds approved by the State of Kansas. Preliminary estimates of the size of the Bourbon County project range from $3 million to $6 million.”
|City||2019 Pop.||Project||Start Date||Orig. Amt (000)||2019 Out. (000)||Dist. Sales Tax (000)||2019 CO. Pop||10-yr Pop. Trend||2019 CO. Sales Tax (000)||2018-19 % increase||2019 Sales Tax Per Capita||2019 Pull Fact.|
|Atchison- AT||10,476||Aviation Museum||May-18||$2,370||$2,190||$210||16,073||-5.03%||$12,939||6.30%||819||0.70|
|Derby- SG||24,943||Dino/Sports Zone||Mar-17||$20,465||$13,230||$5,701||516,042||3.55%||$628,714||4.50%||1,234||1.14|
|Dodge City- FO||27,104||Power Center||Dec-15||$28,481||$26,395||$1,512||33,619||-0.68%||$37,999||5.10%||1,086||0.99|
|Garden City- FY||26,408||Mixed Use||Mar-19||$29,540||$29,540||$2,117||36,467||-0.84%||$58,841||10.40%||1,507||1.41|
|Kansas City- WY||152,960||Youth Soccer||Aug-15||$65,138||$83,138||$1,293||165,429||5.03%||$192,921||4.50%||1,119||0.96|
|Kansas City- WY||152,960||Mercy Park (SKC)||May-10||$150,289||$0||n/a||165,429||5.03%||$192,921||4.50%||1,119||0.96|
|Kansas City- WY||152,960||Kansas Speedway||Jan-99||$24,300||$16,835||$1,326||165,429||5.03%||$192,921||4.50%||1,119||0.96|
|Kansas City- WY||152,960||Schlitterbahn||Oct-13||$85,200||$65,755||$6,514||165,429||5.03%||$192,921||4.50%||1,119||0.96|
|Manhattan- RL||54,604||Flint Hills Discovery||Dec-09||$50,000||$10,905||$5,586||74,232||4.38%||$61,112||-0.20%||814||0.76|
|Overland Park- JO||195,494||Prairiefire||Dec-12||$64,990||$64,860||$3,059||602,401||10.70%||$917,056||2.50%||1,485||1.28|
|Overland Park- JO||195,494||BluHawk Mixed Use||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||602,401||10.70%||$917,056||2.50%||1,485||1.28|
|Topeka- SH||125,310||Heartland Park||Apr-07||$10,405||$5,025||$334||176,875||-0.60%||$211,893||1.00%||1,178||1.06|
|Wichita- SG||389,938||River District||Jul-15||$46,980||$42,140||$2,097||516,042||3.55%||$628,714||4.50%||1,234||1.14|
|Fort Scott- BB||7,697||Arena||Jan-22||n/a||n/a||n/a||14,534||-4.21%||$11,778||-2.20%||795||0.70|
“Bottom line, we are looking at what has been successful elsewhere,” Motley said.
“We are examining possibilities to expand housing in Bourbon County,” Motley said. “BEDCO is in the research and discussions phase. Common sense would dictate that we first examine where the market is hot and see what can be done about enhancing the market in those areas.”
“Many jurisdictions in Kansas have a property improvement tax rebate of some sort, that rebate the increase in taxes property experiences, because of a new build or significant addition,” he said. “Many are reluctant to improve their property because of inherent tax increases…a program like this would rebate the first five years of the increase.”
Motley can be contacted at 620-215-6411.