Chanute commissioners approved a resolution Monday evening that clears a deal for Orizon Aerostructures’ expansion.

The item was a late addition to the agenda and consents to a subordination agreement on construction of Orizon’s third building. It will serve as collateral for Crossland Construction on a second mortgage to fund the project.

Orizon Chief Financial Officer Mark Deuel told commissioners that the building is 50 to 55 percent through construction and by the end of 2020, Orizon will have a $36 million investment in the location on 21st Street. The building will house $15 million in automated riveting equipment that can service either Boeing or Airbus products.

Commissioners said the resolution, and also approval of a Neighborhood Revitalization Program application for Cleaver Development LLC at 105 W. 21st, demonstrate improvement in the local economy.

The NRP project will cover construction of a new warehouse building for $765,000 west of Cleaver Farm & Home.

In other business, incumbent commissioners Tim Fairchild and Phil Chaney were sworn in for new four-year terms. 

Departing commissioner Eddie Rosenberger received a plaque and a new position, when the commission named him as its representative on the Chanute Recreation Commission board to replace Nancy Isaac.

City Manager Jeff Cantrell said the city had negotiated a contract to repair 35th Street. Construction will begin in up to six weeks and a portion of the road will be removed, but Cantrell said it may be closed less than two weeks.

Commissioners also voted to find properties at 601 N. Garfield, owned by Randy Cain, and at 1005 S. Forest and an adjacent vacant lot, owned by Tim Borjas, in violation of city code.

Before the business meeting, the commission met for a work session with members of the CRC board to discuss their facilities agreement.

Recreation Director Todd Newman said issues in the agreement include utilities and space on upper floors rented to a church and to the USD 413 school district foundation. The current agreement requires city commission approval to rent facilities to a third party, and Fairchild said he favored putting it on the agenda for approval.

Another issue concerns the Otterbein Church park area. The land is no longer under the CRC’s purview, although the city still mows it.

Mayor Sam Budreau said he wants to get more information on the rentals and a breakdown of utilities before bringing the agreement back to the commission. The CRC board will meet Wednesday.

Newman feels the CRC is moving forward. He said one of the biggest changes is the fact the CRC no longer operates the whole building, and has turned the aquatic center and west side to the city Parks Department.

Newman said it may take three years for the CRC to get its feet under it financially. Where the rec center once had 39 employees, it now has 11 including four full-time positions.

Newman also showed commissioners the master plan that the CRC will vote on Wednesday. CRC Chair Jon Burchett said the plan is to have two locations, the rec center and Lakeview Recreation area adjacent to Santa Fe Park.


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