Shawnee City Commissioners on Tuesday — in a 7-0 vote — approved a detachment request by St. Gregory's University, making it possible for the century-old fixture of Shawnee to receive help from Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN).

Shawnee City Commissioners on Tuesday — in a 7-0 vote — approved a detachment request by St. Gregory's University, making it possible for the century-old fixture of Shawnee to receive help from Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN).

The detachment of 520 acres owned by St. Gregory’s University and the Benedictine Fathers of Sacred Heart Mission, Inc., from the city becomes effective immediately.

City Manager Justin Erickson said, “Detachment will facilitate USDA-sponsored financing that will allow St. Gregory’s to refinance debt and put the University on the path for future stability and growth.”

City staff recommended the request, provided that an ancillary agreement approved by the City Attorney was also adopted that would protect all relevant City interests — a measure which also was unanimously approved.

Erickson said the property will continue to use city utilities, and the city is not losing property taxes, because it didn't receive them from the school anyway.

In what immediately became a related matter after the detachment, another agenda item was slated to have a public hearing over several proposed changes to city ward boundaries, which is routinely done to maintain balance in representation.

Since the university's detachment request was approved — leaving just more than 300 residents, including students, living on the grounds no longer counting as part of Ward 6 — the just-reconfigured boundaries item was deferred so ward numbers could be rebalanced again.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.