The Rock Creek Development Park design phase will begin shortly.

The industrial park, a joint venture between Franklin County and the City of Ottawa, is located on 330 acres on the southern fringes of Ottawa.

Franklin County’s portion of the design and engineering costs are close to $1 million with Bartlett & West, Lawrence. The county’s portion covers the development of roads, bridges and storm sewers.

Jon Holmes, county administrator, told Franklin County commissioners Wednesday short-term financing is needed.

“We signed the agreement a couple of weeks ago for the engineering,” he said. “Those expenses come out to $990,000 for the design services. That [work] will be completed between now and next March. We will be billed on a monthly basis.”

Holmes said the financing is needed to maintain normal financial operations of the county.

“It allows us to have a higher bond rating to issue bonds,” Holmes said. “That affects the interest rates and things like that. The end result is that the short-term debt, when we do it, will allow us to repay that when we do the bond issue.”

The bond issue will be in the spring and include the nearly $1 million short-term financing.

Commissioners unanimously approved Holmes to begin working with George K. Baum and Company, Kansas City, Missouri, on securing the financing.

“They handle our bonds and our debts,” Holmes said. “We will focus on local banking. This allows me to begin moving forward. Final approval on the issuance will come back to [commissioners].”

Rick Howard, county commission chair, said George K. Baum and Company, has a good track record and worked well with the county on other projects.

Holmes said an example of things that the short-term money would cover would be a $30,000 traffic study.

“The state of Kansas agreed to take care of that cost on a reimbursement basis,” Holmes said. “Things like that are going to happen on this bigger project over the next several months.”