Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

City contemplates increasing sewer fees

July 11, 2001

In the next few years, the city of Basehor will have to find ways to reduce spending or to increase revenue, City Treasurer Baron Powell said.

Powell gave a budget presentation to the City Council during a work session Monday, July 9.

Powell explained to the City Council that by the current number projections, the money in the sewer fund for the city will run out in March 2003.

To compensate for the decreasing funds, city officials could possibly increase the existing sewer rates by 52 percent, which would provide enough revenue to cover sewer expenses, Powell said.

The current sewer rate is $4.82 per 1,000 gallons.

Powell said his projections do not take into account any new sewer customers beyond 2002, therefore, any rate increase could be gradually reduced as new customers come into the sewer system.

The city is currently locked into two payments a year to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the new wastewater treatment facility. Those two yearly payments total $360,000, city officials said.

In 2004, the payment amounts to KDHE are scheduled to increase, city officials said.

Also coming out of the sewer fund is operating expenses for the wastewater treatment facility, which is currently under operation.

Powell also discussed the status of the general fund with the City Council.

"Because of a surplus of funds, the city has been able to spend more than it has received in 2000 and 2001," Powell said. "That surplus should be eliminated by 2002, so the city will have to figure ways to increase revenue or reduce spending for 2003."

Also discussed during the City Council work session was the selection of a design engineer for a sewer interceptor project.

The Kansas Highway 24/40 sewer interceptor project will be a line running from the wastewater treatment facility to 24/40. It will allow developments south of the highway to tap into the treatment facility giving the city more sewer revenue.

There has also been discussion by city officials regarding annexation of existing and future developments located south of the highway.

An engineer for the project has been recommended by a seven member committee consisting of various city officials.

The committee has recommended the design firm of Ponzer-Youngquist of Olathe as the primary engineering force behind the sewer interceptor project.

Representatives from the firm will be present at the July 16 Basehor City Council meeting where they will present the City Council with ideas for the sewer interceptor project.

The firm has also expressed an interest in becoming the city's full-time engineer, city officials said.

The City Council could approve the firm for the project at the July meeting based on the recommendation of the committee.

"I think they will," City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper said. "The committee has recommended them, and I think the council will follow that recommendation."

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