The City must fund the construction of the roundabout, but will be reimbursed by a $1.25 million grant from KDOT. At issue is an estimated $200,000 in soft costs for the project, such as engineering fees or minor land acquisition. USD 475 has proposed payment of 70% of those costs with the City picking up the remaining 30%. But Mayor Pat Landes is opposed to that idea.
Landes stated in the Commission meeting that he thought the City had done the hard part for the school district. “I don’t think the City ought to be paying a dime, any of the soft costs at all on this roundabout. If they didn’t put the high school out there we wouldn’t have to have this. This is their project, we did the work of getting this grant for them. And we have the carrying cost of those dollars waiting to get a check back. So I think we’re doing plenty for this roundabout. I don’t think we need to do anything else.”
Landes stated the school district needs to pay these costs, adding it’s their project. “They told everybody all along that they were going to take care of infrastructure in and around the school, the facility. But it should be done from the outside in, not the inside out. So this idea that it should be on the City to, we’ve done our part. So, I don’t see us paying a dime of that soft cost at all.”
The City has not committed to paying any of the soft costs but will proceed with the grant agreement with KDOT on the roundabout.