Letter to the editor
To the editor:
There isn't room here to answer all the misinformation Bill Sheldon, president of TOTO, put forth, but we will answer some.
According to statistics released by the Greater Kansas City Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Kansas City had 14 million visitors in 1999 (2000 figures not yet available).
We believe it is to Oz's credit they chose to base their figures on a more conservative figure of 10 million.
We respect Bill Sheldon's right to reduce the Oz issue to an emotional level. However, we have chosen to ascertain correct facts and figures whenever possible.
We attended the meeting sponsored by the TOTO group for the purpose of presenting alternate uses for the 9,065 acres at the Sunflower plant. We attended with an open mind and anticipation. Several good ideas were presented for land usage: parks, museum, grasslands and windmills 9,065 acres worth.
All these plans have one thing in common; the cost to the taxpayers will extend perpetuity. In addition, a loss of taxes for schools.
The Oz redevelopment plan has 1,700 acres of donated, cleaned-up land for parks. In addition, Oz has spoken of its desire to include a museum housing many artifacts from Sunflower.
And, we bet if the Oz group really needed to, in order to keep everyone happy, they might even give us a windmill or two.
Cybersite, the New Media Research Center, is a non-profit company located here in Kansas. Its formation was facilitated by the Oz Entertainment Co., the Kansas Technology Corporation and the Mid America Manufacturing Technology Center. It will be located as one of the initial tenants, in the first phase of the Oz Technology Park on Lexington Road, near the resort area.
The center will attract companies that would like to benefit from Cybersite's research in new media and the application of the new technologies. They too would locate their research groups in the technology park, all of which fits seamlessly with the objectives of the K-10 Corridor group.
Finally, regarding the interchange, no matter who or what develops Sunflower, it will be necessary to supply roads. The difference is that, over a period of time, convention and tourism dollars generated by Oz will recover the cost to the taxpayers.
Steve Prudden, Charles "Duke" Neeland, John Taylor, Merle Couch, Elizabeth Couch, Randy Canaan, James A. Beadle, Marge Morse, Pat Atchison and Clyde Sanders.