The Olathe City Council agreed Tuesday to help pay for infrastructure improvements at 159th Street and Pflumm Road. As part of the project, the city has entered into an inter-local agreement with the city of Overland Park and Johnson County.
The project includes property in both cities, according to Deputy Public Works Director Celia Duran, who said Overland Park views the improvements as an interim project, whereas Olathe considers the site as part of the city’s master plan for 2020 and beyond.
The shared land for the $1.7 million project necessitated a cooperative agreement. Currently, half of the property within the project’s boundaries is located in Olathe with a quarter of the land in Overland Park and the remaining quarter owned by the county. According to Duran, Olathe is interested in annexing the county portion in the near future.
Based on the agreement, Overland Park will provide funding for 47 percent of the project and Olathe will fund the remaining costs, which includes the cost to acquire land within city limits for the project and the cost to design and construct the portion within city limits.
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Overland Park will administer the project, which is expected to begin sometime next year.
There was no new discussion regarding the issuance of industrial revenue bonds and a tax phase-in for The Clearing of Anderson Pointe Project.
The development and a tax abatement for the project was approved by the council in November, but revenue bonds and tax phase-in remain on the table for additional review and discussion. Several items still need to be resolved, according to city officials, including issues stemming from a water-main break on the property in 2016.
Meanwhile, the council awarded a $4.8 million contract for street and sidewalk repairs to McAnany Construction for work on asphalt replacement, spot replacement of concrete curbs and sidewalks (including installation of ADA sidewalk ramps), and stormwater improvements on 84 local and collector streets.
The project is scheduled from April to November.
The council also approved a $2.3 million contract with VF Anderson Builders LLC to add right-turn lanes in all directions at the intersection of 151st Street and Mur-Len Road, replace the stoplight, and add a westbound left-turn lane at 151st Street and Scarborough Street.
Construction should begin in April and wrap up by the end of the year.
Prior to the vote, council member Larry Campbell stressed the importance of selecting contractors who meet the city’s standards for safety and professionalism. He requested the city thoroughly review the experience and credentials of contractors that have not previously worked with the city being considered for project awards.
Finally, site manager Tim Talbott and Debb Wilcox, the director of market research with the Center for Non-Profit Management, presented the results from a 2017 survey on Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm.
The survey evaluated Mahaffie alongside more than 150 comparable museums across the United States in areas that included customer service, living history and interactive experiences, facilities, and more.
The family-friendly destination rated higher than the national average in virtually every category. The survey also found that two-thirds of visitors bring a child or children, a figure much higher than the national average.
Mahaffie also remains a tourism draw, with more than 30 percent of visitors coming to Olathe specifically to visit the farm. The survey concluded that Mahaffie is a strong community partner and contributes to the city’s quality of life.
Wilcox recommended a few improvements to the site, including increasing the number of living history and interactive opportunities and developing stronger marketing strategies.
Otherwise, “Keep doing what you are doing,” Wilcox said. “Mahaffie is a star.”
Council member Karin Brownlee agreed, “Mahaffie is one of those things we want to make better and better.”