City Council approves new water department
A newly approved Basehor city water department will begin by servicing the Falcon Lakes housing development, city officials said.
On Monday, Dec. 17, the Basehor City Council unanimously approved a charter ordinance creating a water department to provide water service to residents inside and outside the city.
"We are wanting to be a water district and we are going to start within Falcon Lakes," Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said. "There is some money to be made there and I think we want to be a part of that."
Falcon Lakes is a 450-to-500 home development located along Kansas Highway 7, just north of Basehor. The development was annexed by the City Council in April.
City officials said the creation of the new department was not a slight to any of the existing water companies that currently service the city.
"No, I don't think so," Hooker said. "I don't think it was that. I think it was just something we wanted to get into."
Basehor City Council president Joseph Scherer said council members would schedule a future meeting with the existing water companies.
"We"ll set up a congenial meeting with (the water companies) on the possibilities of working with them as to provide service to the city in the future," Scherer said.
City officials said no plans have yet been finalized on where the city will obtain the water.
Hooker said the creation of the water department is in the preliminary stages.
"Right now, we're just putting the wheels in motion," he said.
The city water department was not the only city program to move forward at the Monday night meeting.
After months of debating, council members unanimously approved a citywide neighborhood revitalization program.
The revitalization program offers residents that make improvements to their home a tax rebate on their property taxes.
Similar programs exist in Leavenworth and Tonganoxie.City officials said the program is intended to improve the overall appearance of the community, enhance neighborhood pride and encourage reinvestment in the area while giving an incentive to those participating.
"I'd say we're all pretty comfortable with (the program)," Scherer said.
And while the program was always expected to gain council approval, city officials debated the details of the program for several months.
An area of concern for council members was whether to allow multiple improvements to residential and commercial property.
Under the approved plan, residential and commercial properties are allowed the multiple improvements, city officials said.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22.