OLATHE, Kan. — Johnson County will now pay more to renovate greenspace outside the county courthouse.
Thursday the Johnson County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) voted 4-3 to allocate an additional $450,000 to support the second phase of the Johnson County Square project.
In August, the board partnered with the City of Olathe for a $2 million renovation project to upgrade the property between the Johnson County Administration building at the Johnson County District Courthouse.
Johnson County Square enhancements include things like a memorial plaza, a multipurpose stage, a playground and various art installations.
Rising inflation and construction costs have resulted in an estimated $900,000 increase in overall project costs. Those additional costs will be evenly divided between the county and the City of Olathe, with each municipality paying approximately $450,000 to complete the project.
Commissioners Janeé Hanzlick, Charlotte O’Hara and Michael Ashcraft voted against the additional allocation. Hanzlick said she supports the project, but would like the county to explore more funding options for the project.
“I still remain concerned that we have not fully explored the opportunities that might be there for a public-private collaboration on the funding for these improvements, ”Hanzlick said.
Commissioner Becky Fast said she feels once the project is complete, the park will help support economic development in the area.
“I see this as long overdue, something that will really help downtown Olathe thrive as a gathering place and as a place for business and residents,” Fast said.