The Wyandotte County Fair is currently under way at a temporary location, but in the last few days the Unified Government has purchased 158 acres of property in the northwesternmost corner of the county with plans to create a permanent home for the fair.
The old Wyandotte County Fairgrounds was sold last year to make way for the Schlitterbahn Vacation Village water park. Since then, the fair’s board of directors, along with the UG, has been looking for a new home in western Wyandotte County. This year, the fair is being held at The Woodlands race track on an interim basis.
Unified Government spokesperson Mike Taylor confirmed that the UG had closed on land near Kansas Highway 7 and Polfer Road in recent days. He also confirmed that the land would be used to house the fairgrounds.
The new fairgrounds area will consist of at least two separate land purchases: a 38-acre tract bought from a Leavenworth, Kan., investment group called Land Enterprises, LLC, and 120 acres from the Wiehe family of Wyandotte County.
Ron Ernzen, a real estate agent with Re/Max Crossroads in Lansing, Kan., representing Land Enterprises, LLC, said he sold 38 acres of farmland K-7 and Polfer to a broker who then turned the land over to the UG. The sale price for the 38-acre tract was $814,000, Ernzen said.
Stanley Wiehe confirmed that he also sold land to the UG recently. He didn’t disclose the size of the property, but other sources indicated the tract consisted of 120 acres adjacent to the 38-acre tract. He said he didn’t know for sure what the land was to be used for, but he said he had heard a “rumor” that it would become the fairgrounds.
If the UG paid the same rate for the 120-acre plot that they did for the 38-acre plot – about $21,421 per acre – then the sale price for that piece of land would have about $2.57 million. That would equal a total cost of $3.38 million.
But Taylor said the money is not coming from tax dollars. Instead, the purchase was financed with the funds obtained when Schlitterbahn purchased the old fairgrounds last year, at an estimated cost of $4 million.
“No general tax money was used to buy the new fairgrounds site,” Taylor told the Kansan.
Ernzen, who sent a photo to the Kansan of himself placing a “sold” sign on the real estate placard at the property, says he thinks the fairgrounds will make a fine addition to the culture of growth in western Wyandotte County.
“It will be a major, major boost for this area,” Ernzen said.
By MATT KELSEY, Kansan Editor