Doniphan is one step closer to having a community center.
Appproval was given by the Doniphan Economic Development Board on Wednesday August 10th to pursue the purchase of four acres of land on the south side of Pine Street.
The eventual goal is to build a community center, possibly with a meeting room for the Doniphan Village Board and a Clerk's office.
Terry Connick led the discussion at the luncheon meeting saying, "Before this, there was no point in any discussion about a community center. We had no place to go."
Myron Lautenschlager, representing the landowner Coralee Lautenschlager said "Mom is real excited about doing this."
He added that the family is willing to sell the property at this time because his mother "has wanted something like this. We are willing to move forward."
The 39 member DED voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the acreage from the Myron Lautenschlager family. The vote was followed by a round of applause.
The land, currently being farmed, is located just west of the Agricultural Services facility.
It has been appraised at a value of $25,000 per acre. In the proposed agreement the Lautenschlagers would make an in kind donation of one of the acres, bringing the cost of the four acres to a total of $75,000.
The next step in the process, Connick said, is to have the property surveyed and subdivided according to planning codes and begin environmental studies that are required.
The Lautenschlager family has asked the DED to comply with a restriction that at least a groundbreaking for the community center could be within three years.
In addition to the community center, the property would be required to be used for the public, such as a park, greenspace or playground,
Funding the $75,000 initial purchase was discussed, with Connick noting that the DED motor vehicle sales tax fund could be used to develop two entrances to the property, since the sales tax is designed to be used for street improvements.
While the DED has about $74,000 accumulated in their budget, Connick said there is a chance Doniphan could receive a grant from the Qwest Center in Omaha.
Qwest has a sales tax fund that offers up to $250,000 of matching funds for community projects. They approve annual grants in May.
Connick said he foresees the community center costing 'in the ballpark of $600,000 to $700,000."
Fundraising could start right away as the DED has set December 1 as a projected closing date for the Lautenschlager sale.
"It (the community center) is not going to happen in six months," said Connick. "It will probably be more like a year from next spring. We have an opportunity now and we want to do it right."
DED member Brenda Wiltfong said, "This is a tremendous opportunity. And it serves a real need in the community."
Article & photos courtesy of the Doniphan Herald