The City Commission of Arkansas City approved two items during its Oct. 3 meeting that will allow KanPak to move forward with a multi-million-dollar distribution warehouse facility in Goff Industrial Park.

City of Arkansas City logoBoth items were recommended last month by the Arkansas City Planning Commission.

The first action the commissioners took annexed the KanPak property into the city limits.

Part of an agreement with Ark City Industries that was approved in March, the annexation was voluntary and will bring added property tax revenue to the city.

The tax increase will be phased in over the course of the next decade. Tax levels will begin at 10 percent the first year and rise by 10 percent per year in each of the following nine years.

The vote to approve the annexation was unanimous. However, the second item pertaining to the property faced some dissent.

Whenever a property is annexed into the city, it automatically is zoned as R-1, or low-density residential.

For the property to be developed for KanPak’s purposes, though, the land needed to be rezoned for industrial use. There are two different types of industrial districts.

The first, I-1, is light industrial, which includes wholesale and warehousing uses. City Manager Nick Hernandez said this more restrictive zoning probably would have been sufficient to allow the facility.

The recommended zoning, I-2, is opens up a myriad of heavy industrial uses, some of which include heavy salvage, steel fabrication, and storing oil, gasoline, petroleum products and natural gas.

The vote to approve the I-2 zoning, which was requested by KanPak, was 3-1. Commissioner Charles Tweedy III cast the lone dissenting vote.

“I would have preferred it to be a more restricted zoning because of the closeness to the residential district to the south,” Tweedy said. “I-2 allows a much broader use of the building if KanPak should ever sell the property.”

Tweedy previously served on the Planning Commission, which provides direction for future city growth.

In other business, the commission:

  • proclaimed the week of Oct. 9-13 as National Fire Prevention Week in Arkansas City.
  • unanimously approved the Sept. 19 minutes.
  • unanimously approved an agreement with Spencer Preservation to conduct a survey of the historic downtown commercial district, in accordance with a project agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office and a historic preservation fund grant previously awarded to Ark City, for an amount not to exceed $13,000. Spencer, which has done two renovation projects at Osage Apartments, was the second-lowest bidder.
  • voted unanimously to schedule a study session at noon Oct. 13 in the city manager’s office at City Hall to discuss South Central Kansas Medical Center’s finances.

Commissioner Duane Oestmann was absent from the meeting because he is traveling.