Oncimmune decision provides lesson for city
Last month at a special meeting, the De Soto City Council agreed to explore a number of programs to spur economic development. Among the ideas discussed Thursday are the extension of sewers to 95th Street, the development of Kansas Highway 10 intersections at Lexington Avenue and Kill Creek and Edgerton roads and the development of the 95th Street corridor between Kill Creek Road and Lexington Avenue . Additionally, the council discussed the bolder proposal that the city look to become the developer of an industrial or office park or that it look for a developer for which to partner in such an effort.
Although the council may find acting as a developer too risky, especially in the current uncertain financial environment, it is to be hoped the city council can find some creative way to open more land to commercial, light industrial and office development. A regional economic development professional at the meeting said one thing in big demand but lacking in the metropolitan area was good-sized acreage ready for projects, which meant streets, sewers and water already to the plot.
The announcement that Oncimmune Ltd. is coming to De Soto only reinforces that point. The availability of a large building in The Commons office park landed the company that will bring more than 40 jobs paying from $40,000 to $45,000 a year in De Soto.
This paper has already endorsed the extension of sewers to both intersections on 95th Street, using the electrical utility fund as a revolving loan source if necessary.
The company is clean, doesn't require a heavy investment of infrastructure and will bring a good number of bright people to the community. It is just the kind of company the De Soto community has heard would be interested in the city located midway on a major highway between Kansas University the metropolitan areas and the kind the Kansas Bioscience Authority was created to attract.
There will be more like it, and De Soto should look to be in the position to recruit.