Tonganoxie optimistic about future growth ahead of governor’s visit

TONGANOXIE, Kan. -- On Tuesday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will be in Tonganoxie for an announcement involving the Kansas Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Transportation.

The Governor's office didn't release any details about the announcement, but the people in Tonganoxie know a few.

However, FOX 4 reached out to nearly a dozen Tonganoxie officials, and didn't hear back from most of them. That could be due to the Labor Day holiday - or because those involved with the announcement signed confidentiality agreements.

"It's got to be something pretty big for them keep it that hush-hush," said Jodee Baker, a longtime Tonganoxie resident. "They've done it before with other things. But this must be something pretty phenomenal. And it's probably something that's going to grow the city pretty fast."

Tonganoxie is a town of roughly 5,000 people. And while it has been one of the fastest growing cities in Kansas, it is still the type of place where you can stand in the middle of street and not worry about traffic.

But if the rumors are true, that's about to change. And people in Tonganoxie hope this announcement adds ringing endorsements to its growing momentum.

"I think it's more everything that's going on around town," said Baker.

"Our military armory going in," she continued, "you've got another building across the way that's going to be some kind of a factory - industrial park type thing - just, big buildings going up everywhere."

Any buildings - big or otherwise - would bring in business, breathe new life into the city, and add a few cars to its downtown traffic.

"I like a small town," said Ray Bichelmeyer, who owns Decades Past antiques.

"I'd like to see it grow," he added, "because it has to grow just like anything else. It has to change. And the changes you get are better for the town."

Governor Brownback's announcement will be Tuesday at 12:30 at the Brunswick Ballroom (the old Bichelmeyer restaurant) in downtown Tonganoxie.