City, school district make land swap

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
In this file photo, property immediately north of Jefferson Elementary School is being leveled, where Kickapoo Motel sat for decades. The land is now part of a property swap between the City of Shawnee and Shawnee Public Schools. The former Franklin Elementary school site is the other land parcel to be traded.

The City of Shawnee and Shawnee Public Schools District have agreed to make a trade.

This week, Shawnee city commissioners entered into a land swap. The agreement involves city-owned lots at the corner of Kickapoo and Dill streets, where the longtime Kickapoo Motel was recently razed, and a 1.5-acre property at 214 S. Pennsylvania owned by Shawnee Public Schools, where Franklin Elementary School operated before it closed many years ago.

“City (of Shawnee) and (Shawnee Public Schools) District acknowledge and agree that the value of each property is of equal value compared to the other property,” the agreement reads.

The vote passed 4-1-1, though Ward 5 City Commissioner Mark Sehorn opposed and Ward 6 City Commissioner Ben Salter abstained. The commission's Ward 2 seat was still vacant at the time of the vote.

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Sehorn asked what plans the city might have for the old Franklin site.

“I don't think we know, just yet,” Mayor Ed Bolt said.

Sehorn said his concern is for the safety of the children.

“If there's asbestos, and some of that stuff in Franklin, as old as it is,” Sehorn said.

“What kind of headache are we getting into?” Sehorn asked.

The old Kickapoo Motel lots — now vacant of all structures — sit just across Dill Street — directly north of Jefferson Elementary — which could easily add a little breathing room to the cramped school site.

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The city and school are exchanging the properties as-is, and neither party can grant anyone the right to purchase the property or any part of it while the agreement remains in effect, the transfer contract reads.

Closing on the transfer is set on or before Oct. 15, City Manager Andrea Weckmueller-Berhinger said Monday.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.