Developers for a Field Station: Dinosaurs park and retail development in Derby submitted the long-awaited project plan proposal last week that outlines details of the STAR bond project. The introduction of the concept started almost a year ago.

The project plan proposal indicates that at full build-out of the project, the total capital investment is estimated at more than $159 million, with annual sales projected at more than $185 million. Annual visitation is estimated at 1.3 million with a quarter of those coming from outside of the state.

The project plan proposes that the approved issuance of almost $24 million in net STAR bond proceeds be disbursed to the developer for a variety of uses outlined in the plan.

The north tract of the designated area will contain the dinosaur component and other family recreational tourism activities. The plan outlines those components to include an outdoor exhibition and park, indoor exhibits, outdoor amphitheater, indoor theater, ropes course under the dome, themed miniature golf, public fitness trail course, zip line, and fossil dig site.

The plan indicates that the project will be combined with a strong retail base, as well as other possible future destination attractions. The developer will also target national and regional retail and restaurant chains, which will complement the tourism draw associated with the project.

The plan proposes that the state approve the issuance of $23,996,484 in net STAR bond proceeds to be disbursed to the developer for various uses outlined in the plan.

Receiving the proposal prompted the Derby City Council to set a special meeting, which was held Monday.

Monday’s special council meeting was largely a closed-door executive session. According to City Manager Kathy Sexton, the executive session was for the purpose of getting legal advice about the venture and to hear information from developers that they would not want to discuss in public for competitive reasons.

Following the executive session, City Council members opened the public meeting to schedule a public hearing for the purpose of considering to adopt the STAR bond project plan.

The public hearing will be held during the regular council meeting on Tuesday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at 611 Mulberry in Derby. Sexton said that if and when Derby approves the project, it would then be sent to the Kansas Department of Commerce for consideration.

Citizens are welcome to attend the meeting. To learn more about the details of the project, the complete project plan will be available at www.derbyinformer.com for public viewing.

The map at left outlines the designated STAR bond district. The program plan involves using nearly $24 million in net STAR bond proceeds from existing and new sales tax dollars to help fund the project. STAR bonds deal with redirecting a small portion of the current sales tax dollars collected and do not involve raising the sales tax amount consumers pay.

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