Silent night at Council: Benefit district withdrawn
What could have turned into a lengthy discussion at the Eudora City Council meeting Monday only took a matter of minutes.
Neighbors from Shadow Ridge who had gathered for a public hearing regarding a benefit district to improve a half-mile stretch of 28th Street got some good news: Developers rescinded their request for a benefit district.
The Council read a letter from developers John McGrew and Dwight Perry that asked the city disregard their request to develop a benefit district and instead to finance the improvements to 28th Street -- as far as a half-mile west of Church Street -- with their own funds.
"It took a big man to write that letter and take back what they proposed," said Council member Tom Pyle, who sat in for the absent Mayor Ron Conner.
Although Council minutes and records showed plans to upgrade 28th Street through a benefit district, Conner wrote in a letter read to the Council that the city should discontinue plans for a benefit district because of concern from the community. Perry and McGrew said sales contracts between the developers and homebuilders included a caveat about entering into a benefit district for 28th Street, but it appeared not all homebuyers were aware of the plans.
After a Dec. 5 conversation, developers and the mayor agreed it would be in the best interest of everyone involved for the developers to bear the burden of improving the street.
Shadow Ridge resident Tom Tucker said he was thankful to the city and the developer for deciding not to go through with a benefit district. The city wouldn't have contributed to the district. Instead it would have been supported entirely through the neighborhood, although the city and developers had different ideas about how the cost would be split.
"It's tough to look at the requests of the developer, the needs of the city, and the wants of the homeowners," Tucker said.
Even though the public hearing was canceled, the City Council room was full Monday night in part because of the neighbors who came for the benefit district issue. Council member Scott Hopson thanked the neighbors for their involvement and interest in the process.
"This is how you find out about what's going on in Eudora," he said.