Governor approves Sunflower plan
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that she would sign a key document needed if the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant is to be transferred to a private developer.
"After years of negotiations and false starts, I am excited to announce today that an agreement has been reached that will transform the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant into a powerful engine for economic growth in northeast Kansas," said Governor Kathleen Sebelius today.
Sebelius has insisted that any trasnfer to Sunflower Redevelopment LLC include land for a research park. Sunflower Redevelopment officials announced last week that an agreement had be reached that would transfer 200 acres to Kansas University for such a park. In addition, the developer -- a partnership between Kessinger/Hunter of Kansas City, Mo., and International Risk Group of Denver -- would set aside an additional 250 adjacent acres for bioscience development. Sebelius said those uses and the 2,000 acres of Suflower to be deeded to the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Department were key in her decision to sign the so-called finding of suitability for early transfer.
"That's great news for the city of DeSoto, Johnson County, both the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, and the people of Kansas."
The governor credited the work of Sen. Pat Roberts, Congressman Dennis Moore and the Johnson County Commission in moving the project forward.
Governor Sebelius said, "With this agreement in place, the Sunflower Redevelopment LLC firm can move ahead on transforming this site, with its ammunition production history, into a center for world-class scientific research and innovative economic development that will benefit all Kansans."
"For years, I've driven along K-10 and envisioned ways that this great expanse of land could be used productively," the governor said. Today's transfer of the property to SRL takes us one big step closer to realizing the dreams that many Kansans have had for this site.
"I know that we're still in the early stages of this project," Sebelius said, "but if we get the same cooperation in the future that we witness today, I'm certain that we will demonstrate how a site that helped us win World War II can be reborn as an engine of growth and knowledge for many decades to come."