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Info Wyandotte

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A new multipurpose arena built in western Wyandotte County could boost spending $47.6 million in the area, a consultant told the Unified Government Commission in a report tonight. However, it might not be a money-maker for the local government.

Bill Krueger, with CSL, a consulting firm in the arena and convention center field, presented examples of three types of convention or arena facilities that might be built. The UG is studying a convention center or multipurpose arena in conjunction with a new 250-room hotel proposed for the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway area. Another expansion project in the area is the soccer training facility complex proposed next to the Schlitterbahn water park.

The multipurpose arena, with an $80 million estimated price tag, was one of three types of structures considered. Also considered were a convention center, with a $143 million construction cost; and an indoor multipurpose building, with an $18 million cost.

The one that was the most likely to succeed in this market was a multipurpose arena that might house a minor league hockey or basketball team, according to Krueger. Other events would be held there as well. The other two types of buildings might incur an annual operating deficit, the consultant said.

Even that one, according to the consultant, might not make a lot of money for the county. A .3 UG taxes to cost ratio for this facility estimated that the UG would take in a third in taxes in relation to what it is spending on the cost of the facility. The consultant said there were also indirect benefits that were not included in this estimate, such as increased business at nearby facilities that might result in increased amounts paid to the local government.

The 7,000 to 10,000-seat multipurpose arena facility would have additional square feet of space that could be open for events such as trade shows, he said. He listed operating projections of $340,000 to more than $1 million.

During his presentation, Krueger remarked that the Kansas City area market is saturated with some of these types of convention or multipurpose buildings already. He felt, however, that an arena in the Village West area could draw upon all of the area’s retail and entertainment attractions to work.

Besides the new hotel that is planned for the casino area, there also is a soccer training facility planned for an area that is next to the Schlitterbahn water park.

The exact site of the multipurpose arena was not discussed tonight.

Mayor Mark Holland said the next step in this process would be to talk to private partners who have an interest in it. The consultant said his written report should be available in two to three weeks.

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The deadline is Nov. 17 to schedule an appointment for a home energy audit with the Board of Public Utilities, according to a BPU spokesman.

Those who are interested in a BPU home energy audit may call 913-573-9997 or email EnergyAudit@bpu.com.

Customers may spend $50 for an audit that may save them hundreds of dollars on their utility bills, according to the spokesman.

The tests will include blower door tests to identify costly air leakages; combustible appliance zone test; up to 10 free compact fluorescent light bulbs; recommendations for energy efficiency improvements; and development of an energy conservation plan.

Homeowners must have 12 months of electric usage with the BPU.

Those who make the recommended improvements within 90 days will get a $50 refund of their appointment fee, according to the BPU.

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by William Crum
The Kansas Supreme Court held oral arguments Oct. 29 at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

This is a program that was developed by the Kansas Supreme Court to show the public what goes on in the court systems in Kansas. At these sessions oral arguments are heard. Recently one was held at the Kansas City Kansas Community College.

The types of cases varied from criminal cases to estate cases, giving those who attended the sessions a range of knowledge on how the Kansas Supreme Court operates. During the sessions both sides are heard. No decisions have been made on these cases.

Cases that were heard included the state versus Michael Trevon Lewis, which dealt with the issue of criminal appeal. Another case was in the matter of the estate of Kenneth Lee Butler, deceased, which was an estate issue case, and the state versus Darren Knox, a criminal appeal case. Plus another case on the docket, Jeremy A. Wiles versus American Family Life Insurance Co. of Columbus (AFLAC), was an insurance case where Jeremy sought coverage for medical treatment for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

Finally, another case that was heard was Jenna S. Cheney versus Zachary Poore, involving a custody case.

At this session there were no decisions made on any of the cases by the Kansas Supreme Court.

The audience was filled with young and old alike who were curious to see how the Kansas Supreme Court truly operates. In the future there are more of the events planned; however the dates have not yet been completely confirmed yet.

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