Tuesday, November 19, 2013
UG takes steps to ensure long-term success of
popular attraction
TopENews Source
Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas

Unified Government teams up with T-Bones for Long-term Tourism Success 

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City is taking steps to ensure the long-term success of the popular Kansas City T-Bones baseball team by purchasing CommunityAmerica Ballpark.


The Unified Government, with the support and cooperation of Governor Sam Brownback and the State of Kansas, plans to use $8-million in Village West Sales Tax Revenue Bonds (STAR) to acquire and renovate the stadium which was constructed in 2003 and is privately owned by Ehlert Development. The Ehlerts also own the T-Bones baseball team.


CommunityAmerica Ballpark is one of the few privately owned stadiums in the nation. Most stadiums are owned by the city or county where they are located and leased by a team. While the T-Bones Baseball Club is financially successful, the burden of stadium ownership would not be viable for the next decade. A requirement of the stadium purchase is that the T-Bones Baseball Club signs a long-term lease to remain playing in Wyandotte County. 


"We have been honored to be a vital and early part of the revival of Wyandotte County and a first-class asset to the Village West Entertainment district," said Adam Ehlert, team owner and president. "The purchase of ballpark by the Unified Government will ensure the stadium will continue to benefit Wyandotte County and the State of Kansas, and the T-Bones are thrilled to keep playing in one of the best ballparks in the American Association. This will only enhance the T-Bones' family-friendly product and the facility will continue to proudly wear the CommunityAmerica Ballpark name."


The Unified Government studied the possible purchase for months before moving ahead. Officials say the positive economic impact of the T-Bones playing in Wyandotte County more than justifies purchase of the stadium to keep the team here.


"For the last 12 years we have been fortunate to have a successful baseball franchise in Kansas City, Kansas," said Mayor Mark Holland. "The Kansas City T-Bones are a fun, family-friendly, and affordable attraction for visitors and residents. We look forward to our continued partnership with this valued member of our Village West community."   

In 2013, more than 265,000 fans attended T-Bones games. The team generates more than $5.5-million a year in economic benefit for Wyandotte County. The annual payroll for local workers is more than $1.5-million. The T-Bones have also provided more than $650,000 to improve Wyandotte County parks.


The $8-million in STAR bonds to buy the stadium will require less than five months of revenue from the Village West STAR Bonds. The STAR Bonds issued to build Village West are scheduled to still be paid-off in 2017, four years ahead of the original schedule when the bonds were issued. The purchase of the stadium by the Unified Government levels the playing field with other STAR Bond supported attractions. 


This STAR Bond investment is only a fraction of what most municipalities need for a more normalized public-private partnership.  By comparison, St. Paul, Minnesota is currently investing $68-million to build a new minor league ballpark.


The State of Kansas endorses the public ownership of the stadium and is sharing in the transaction by allowing some of the State STAR Bond sales tax revenues to be used toward the purchase.


The Unified Government Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the issue in December.



Downtown KCK Holiday Lighting Ceremony 
The Holiday Season is just around the corner and plans are underway for the annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony in Downtown KCK. Mayor Holland will continue the tradition of the Holiday Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 22. Festivities will begin at 4pm in and around the first floor of City Hall at 7th & Barnett.

In addition to a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, there will be visits from other holiday characters, entertainment by local school and community groups and a neighborhood group tree decorating contest. There will be a hot air balloon night glow (weather permitting). Mayor Holland and his family will conclude the festivities by lighting the Mayor's Christmas Tree at 7pm.

This popular annual event is paid for mostly with donations and sponsorships. Businesses or individuals interested in contributing can get more information by contacting the KCK Chamber of Commerce at 913-371-3070.


Bake Sale for United Way 

LIVE UNITED with your appetite!


There will be lots of yummy items for you to purchase for your own breakfast that day or to take home for the long holiday weekend.


City Hall Lobby beginning at 7:30 am until it's gone:


  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Pies for Thanksgiving
  • Delicious Baked Goods

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! To donate backed goods. Contact Cathy Spicer 913-573-8449 or email cspicer@wycokck.org

or Joy Richardson at 913-371-3674 x1322 or jrichardson@unitedway-wyco.org.



Holiday Craft Show 

The Annual Holiday Crafts Show will take place this Saturday, November 23rd at Eisenhower Community Center. The Show is from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm and is free to the public. There will be more than 70 commercial and handcrafted vendors participating with items for the entire family. 


Concessions will be available with both breakfast and lunch items.  This is a perfect opportunity to start your holiday shopping; even Santa has plans to stop by!


For more information on obtaining a booth at the show contact Shaya at spatrick@wycokck.org or 913-573-8358.



Community Corrections Awarded Grant

Community Corrections has recently been awarded a grant in the amount of $138,052 for behavioral health interventions.  The Kansas Department of Corrections issued the grant awards to support House Bill 2170. 


HB2170 is aimed at increasing the number of offenders who successfully complete community supervision by addressing issues around mental illness, substance abuse, and criminal thinking patterns.  Community Corrections will use this award to expand cognitive behavioral treatment for probationers, as well as provide a care coordinator with Wyandotte Mental Health Center.



Road Closure Sign
Road ClosuresConstruction Barrel

Based on information provided by both the UG's Public Works Department and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), we are able to provide motorist living in Wyandotte County an update on road and highway projects.


This information can be useful to prepare individuals, commuting to and from work, with early warnings on minor delays. This also encourages motorists to use alternate routes due to land and ramp closures.

Seventh Street Closure   

Seventh Street between Ann and Barnett Streets will be closed from 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, November 22nd is the Mayor's Annual Holiday Lighting Event.




Winter Weather Awareness Day   

With the first frosts of the season already behind us, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, in conjunction with the National Weather Service and local emergency management officials across the state, is urging Kansans to prepare for winter.


Winter Weather Awareness Day is Wednesday, November 20. The date is designated annually to remind Kansans of the potential hazards associated with winter weather and the actions everyone can take to have a safer winter.


"Be aware of weather conditions when you travel during the holiday season," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and adjutant general. "Make sure your cell phone is charged before you start and have an emergency kit in your vehicle."


Tafanelli said vehicle emergency kits should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a cell phone charger, hand-warmers, high-energy food snacks, bottled water, necessary medications, a snow shovel, flares and other emergency supplies. Additional vehicle preparations recommended include winterizing your car by checking tires and anti-freeze levels, and never letting your vehicle's gas tank fall below a quarter tank because road conditions may slow down your travel or leave you stranded with no gas and no access to heat.


"Now is also a good time to take stock of your home emergency kit and make sure you're prepared in case you are snowed in without power," said Tafanelli.


Tafanelli advised Kansans to be prepared by assembling a home emergency kit with supplies for every member of the family for a minimum of three days, including bottled water (one gallon per person per day), non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, blankets, medications, children's games and pet food.


For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, go to www.ksready.gov . Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from FEMA at www.fema.gov, the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org, or your county emergency management office.


Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone or by going to the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at http://511.www.ksdot.org.



Daily Lane Closure Highway Project Sign

Remember, you can always go to the KDOT website for up to the minute road closures and traffic information. 

UG Logo 2
This Week in Kansas City
UG Teams Up with T-Bones
Downtown KCK Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Emergency Management Participates in National Exercise
Holiday Craft Show Coming Up
Community Corrections Awarded Grant
Road Closures
Seventh Street Closure
Winter Weather Awareness Day
KDOT Daily Lane Closures
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