After Seven Years, LRA for Kansas Ammo Plant Signs Deed for Final Transfer

The Great Plains Development Authority on Wednesday signed the deed to take possession of 6,116 acres at the former Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, marking the official start of the effort for Labette County in southeast Kansas to convert the facility into the Great Plains Industrial Park.

The LRA obtained the parcel under an economic development conveyance (EDC), which calls for the authority to make an upfront payment of $49,999 to the Army. The LRA will pay the balance of the $3.5 million purchase price over a period of 10 years through a revenue-sharing agreement with the Army.

The authority will pay gross revenues from three sources — land sales; operational, industrial and commercial activities; and rail operations. The LRA’s responsibility to make payments will terminate at the end of the 10-year period, whether or not it has paid a total of $3.5 million to the Army, reported the Parsons Sun.

The Army previously transferred 2,600 acres to the development authority under the EDC for $1. The LRA then conveyed 2,000 acres of that parcel to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The Army also transferred 1,000 acres to the state parks department under the Army Compatible Use Buffer program.

Two more transfers remain from the 13,727-acre site, said Dan Goddard, CEO of the authority. The Army will sell 4,000 acres to Day & Zimmermann, the munitions manufacturer that operated the ammunition plant. The government also will auction a 67,000-square-foot office building on 10 acres via auction.

This week’s deed signing “represents the culmination of over seven years of hard work by many members of the Parsons and Labette County, Kansas, community. Through all the steps and frustration involved in the process, the GPDA board, its predecessors and the GPDA staff never lost sight of the goal,” Goddard said. And now, he added, the really hard work begins as the community develops the Great Plains Industrial Park.

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