Linwood to upgrade sewer system with new lagoon
Linwood will undertake an expensive sewer project next year that could cost taxpayers if the city does not receive government assistance.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has told the city of Linwood a third lagoon cell must be added for the city to comply with state regulations.
"It's not that we're having sewer problems or having things get backed up, it's that we need a third cell to meet the surface area capacity," Linwood City Council member Ed Morris said. "As far as square footage or sewage goes, there are no bad cells."
Linwood has to renew its sewer license in 2003, so the city would need the problem fixed before then, Morris said.
Factoring in engineering and construction costs, city officials said the addition of the third cell could cost as much as $500,000.
It's money the city doesn't have, Morris said.
"Right now, we're in the process of applying for grants," he said. "Half a million is quite a lot and in order to come out on top, we are going to have to get grants to pay for it.
"We're going to have to get really lucky, but we have to try."
If Linwood doesn't get grant approval, city officials could go to the taxpayers for the funds.
"The sewer rates could go up to offset the costs," Morris said. "If we can't get the grants, we may have to go to the residents for a bond issue."
The addition of the third cell would be beneficial to the city because of expectations of future growth in Linwood, the city said.
Morris said there are two new houses being built in the city right now. There is also an 11-home housing development in the planning stages.
"For a city that hasn't had any growth in the last 10 years, that's pretty big," Morris said.
City officials have a desire to grow and have been trying to improve the city's image.
"As a city, I think Linwood has a negative reputation as not being to aesthetically pleasing and we are trying to change that," Morris said. "Our biggest thing day to day has been trying to improve on that image."
While the city has made an effort to improve, Morris said a main area of concern is getting the lagoon system taken care of before 2003.
"It's all new for us, but right now we're pushing the timeline," he said.