Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
The Eudora City Council unanimously approved a motion to waive several of the fees required to build the Family Dollar store at 15th and Church Street. By waiving the fees, the city is passing up nearly $10,000 in possible revenue to ensure the project moves forward. The R.H. Johnson Company, developer of the store, requested the waiver of the fees due to the large cost that the fees added to the project. Mike Johnson, representative of the R.H. Johnson Company, stated that if the fees were imposed, it would add approximately ten percent of the development budget and could cause the project to be abandoned.
In addressing the City Council, City Administrator John Harrenstein stated that while the city doesn’t normally waive fees, by having the Family Dollar store in Eudora, it will potentially add 4 full time and 25 part time jobs to the community and it will have a sales tax impact since it will likely keep money in Eudora instead of going elsewhere and a property tax impact on land the city currently receives no taxes on.
The fees waived include water and sewer hookup plus the building permit fees. The electrical installation fee and the Park Impact Fee are still in place. By waiving the fees, the city is not paying any taxpayer funds to R.H. Johnson; it is only choosing not to collect revenue to keep the project moving forward.
“There is no money out of pocket to the city,” City Councilman Bill Whitten said. “I think this will benefit us all the way around.”
“This is putting our money where our mouth is in regards to economic development,” Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson stated. “This is a no lose situation.”
Johnson said the development company wants to get started building as soon as possible. Johnson added that that by the time the easements are removed from the area since the store will be located on what was KDOT right of way, it may be too late to start this year due to normal Kansas winter weather and they may not be able to get started until March 2012. The normal completion time once ground is broken for a project like this is 120 days.