I have confidence that Kansas will have a shot to move into the bottom 25, but that first win made it tougher.
Why did the county by all of that land?
Good thing he's not your county auditor, or there would be a serious investigation in the offing!
They haven't bought it yet. They approved the purchase, but the money must be raised first before the transaction can be completed.
The landowner apparently had some expressions of interest from one or more potential developers--I only heard that and don't know it to be fact--and offered the county a chance to buy it first. I don't know if the landowner truly wishes to see this parcel of land remain intact and pass into public hands, or if it could be a negotiating tactic, but by word and action they have signaled this interest.
There has been long standing interest within the community by various entities to protect this land in some way and gain public access--either by outright ownership or by right-of-way or some similar mechanism.
Some years back, the present governor(!) initiated a proposal within the legislature for the land to be acquired with state funding. Ultimately it did not get out of the Senate Committee that first would need to move on it. I don't know how or why it captured the governor's attention, but one can speculate that someone with influence was involved in the effort.
The land has high value to the community because it falls over the recharge zone of an aquifer that is one of the community's two major water resources. The water from this particular aquifer is of unusually high quality and it would be vastly cheaper to keep it free of contamination that to try to clean it up were it to become contaminated. Basically that means trying to prevent development over the recharge zone taking place, plus certain other measures--but the main thing is keeping the land in a natural state.
It also has high potential value for recreation purposes. It serves as a connector between the community and the national forest to the east, and opening up access over this land would effectively leverage the land to incorporate the much larger chunk of adjoining national forest.
These recreational values translate into even more intangible values in terms of making the community more attractive to potential business re-locations, expansions, start-ups, etc. It ties into a long term vision for the community.
So essentially the encapsulates the arguments for the purchase.
At this point, it is all moot, as the decision to purchase has been made. All that matters now is whether or not the money can be raised--which would seem to be a tall order, though not one which is impossible.
The fact that it has gotten even this far suggests that there are enough people who matter who think it can be done; we shall see.
Maybe there are plans for building a permanent orienteering stadium?
I have been working for the past few years, rearranging some of the smaller stones right at the edge of this property. Already what I have fashioned is nearly fully compliant with the International Orienteering Championship Arena Specification (IOCAS).