Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2001

Eudora should keep its eye on Oz


March 8, 2001

The eyes and ears of Northeast Kansas will be on the Johnson County Commission March 15 as its members decide the fate of the proposed Wonderful World of Oz Theme Park and Resort.

The Commission is expected to take its final vote on entertainment company's redevelopment plan for the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.

The decision will ultimately impact Eudora regardless of the outcome.

A no vote would virtually put an end to the project as we know it. An affirmative vote would forward the matter to the Kansas Finance Development Authority.

The commission failed to approve the redevelopment plan in November, with the vote deadlocked at 2-2.

Commissioner Johnna Lingle, who represented one of the no votes, was defeated in last year's primary and was subsequently replaced on the commission by Susie Wolf. Barring a change of heart by one of the other commissioners, Wolf will cast the deciding vote on Thursday. The Shawnee Republican has not indicated how she will vote, but has said she will be ready to do so at that time.

The process by which the project will be decided leaves Eudora and Douglas County residents in a precarious position.

Should the development get a green light from the commission and KDFA, the theme park and resort could open its doors in a couple of years. There's no doubt such a development would affect the quality of life for Eudora residents. Whether that would be for the better or worse depends on whom you talk to.

The unfortunate part of the equation is that Douglas County officials have no say in the matter. Its residents, however, can and should make their opinions known.

Much has been written and spoken about the project over the past year. We hope Eudora residents have been listening. We encourage anyone with concerns or suggestions about the project to contact the Johnson County Commission.

They may not be your elected officials, but they certainly hold a large part of your future in their hands.

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