Today we continue with responses from the candidates for Roeland Park mayor to the questionnaire items we developed with reader input last month. The third question is as follows:
Roeland Park faces a challenge in finding a new, long-term home for its public works operation. Where do you think the city should locate its public works facility? Why?
Note: Candidate Linda Mau did not respond to today’s question.
We need to look at all options. The current location is actually workable until or if someone wants to purchase the land. We should be looking at all possibilities. But we have to take into consideration the site we are looking to relocate. It needs to be close to our city, preferably in our city. It is not necessary to relocate the public works building until we get the current site sold to a developer.
The question posed stipulates that Roeland Park “…faces a challenge in finding a new home for its public works facility.” I remain unconvinced that the City needs to find it a new home. The pressure seems to come from the belief among some that the current public works property could be sold for a million dollars or so.
Those adamantly opposed to putting public works at the community center will be happy to hear that I question moving public works, and, even if it is proven that the existing public works property could be sold for a million, I think the community center would be an awful place to put it.
Fairway bought property in Roeland Park (a building in which I worked for five years) for its public works facility. If a million-dollar sale of the public works property should come to pass, Roeland Park might follow Fairway’s lead and look across I35 to KCK for suitable property.
A new public works facility should be built in a location that avoids intruding on residential neighborhoods and our community center. The community center is a valuable public asset that must be protected. The current city council and the public works department are looking at spaces both inside and outside city limits, and will hopefully find the solution that best fits our community. There is no ideal location yet, but the search is ongoing.
It’s important to future commercial development that we consider moving public works from the old pool site. That site is a prime growth opportunity in our mature, land-locked town. I support ideas such as a hotel, restaurants, or entertainment destination at the location to fulfill community needs and broaden the tax base, which estimates indicate would have an annual economic impact over $200,000.00.
Tomorrow, we’ll run the candidates responses to question number five:
What about Roeland Park are you most proud of? What does Roeland Park need to work to improve?