HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce CEO Debra Teufel told Hutch Post that the process of development for the new industrial park intended to go along K-96 south of South Hutchinson continues.
"We do have interest," Teufel said. "We started seeing larger projects going back about two to three years ago. That really guided us that, without a large site like this, we wouldn't be in the game on so many projects that we were just having to pass over because we didn't have a contiguous 300-500 acre parcel. Some things that have happened recently, we have been pitching it on some major projects, which really then made us aware that without the water and sewer solution, we really can't be in the game."
Teufel sees that solution coming in the near future.
"That's why the cities and the county have all been at the table helping solve that challenge together," Teufel said. "The city studied how they develop water lines under the river to get it to the site and what the cost for that would be. Our goal is that we find a future tenant that helps partner in that construction cost. It is probably the most sizable, outside of electric utility, it's the most sizable utility piece that we have to solve. The discussion that we have had so far is, in order for the city to really take that on, there has to be a plan for it to be part of the city of Hutchinson at some point. Our next step that we've been working as landowners, with the neighboring landowners, is applying to petition the city for it to be annexed into the City of Hutchinson. That would be the first step in the city being able to deliver that infrastructure."
The thought is to get that done before the end of the year.
"You're probably going to see showing up on a future City agenda, that petition, with us as owners and with the other two owners that we're partnering with, for that petition to state that we wish to be annexed into the City of Hutch," Teufel said. "Then, a notification has to go to the county for the county to also weigh in on that. That would happen at a future meeting and then it would come back to the City for the final resolution and ordinance to be adopted. That is one of the next steps and then there will probably be some action at a future date related to infrastructure."
The reason the City of Hutchinson has to be involved is because South Hutchinson does not have enough remaining water rights to meet a park that size's needs, but Hutchinson does, if the ones they have yet to perfect are used for that purpose.