Familiar firm chosen for county sewer work
The Olathe engineering firm Ponzer-Youngquist was recently hired by the Leavenworth County Commission to begin work on a sewer project in the southern portion of the county.
The firm is already working with the city of Basehor on an interceptor line, which would run from the city's wastewater treatment facility to Kansas Highway 24/40.
The city's interceptor line would tie into a similar line from developments south of the highway along County Road 2.
Leavenworth County Commissioner Joe Daniels said Ponzer-Youngquist would have two options to choose from in designing the county's sewer project.
The first would handle the immediate problem of shutting down two temporary lagoons near Basehor.
The second would entail developing a comprehensive sewer plan for most of southern Leavenworth County.
Daniels said the county and the firm would discuss the issue in coming weeks before making a decision.
"What we did was pick out an engineer to figure out the best approach for the sewer problems down there," Daniels said.
The county chose the firm partially because of its work with the city of Basehor.
"That was one reason," he said. "They also had quite a bit experience and there wouldn't be a problem in communication with them."
The county sewer interceptor line is something Daniels said would be needed as growth in southern Leavenworth County continues.
Like the county, future growth was on the minds of Basehor officials when planning for the city's sewer line project.
City officials said the sole purpose for the city's line is to service the expected growth near the highway.
"We're trying to be proactive," said Mike Hooper, Basehor city codes administrator. "The biggest question we get (from developers is), 'Do you have sewer?' and 'Where is the sewer?'"
"It's kind of like that movie. If you build it, they will come," Hooper added.
In addition to connecting with developments south of the highway, Hooper said the city's line would also run east to Wolf Creek.
The city's project is estimated to cost approximately $1.6 million, Basehor officials said.
Construction has not begun, but city officials said the work should be complete in November.
Although the county is attempting to fix potential sewer problems in southern Leavenworth County, some residents are concerned with the project.
Earlier this month, 175 county residents met at Basehor-Linwood High School to discuss what they described as unreasonable sewer rates.
"What we're concerned about is the sewer rates being imposed in southern Leavenworth County," said Harold Nelson, a member of the Cedar Lakes homeowners association. "We just don't believe that it's right and that's what we're concerned about."
Nelson said homeowners in his addition are paying $480 a year in sewer bills. Residents in the development are on a lagoon system, not the county's sewer system, he said.
Daniels said the funds received through sewer bills is used for sewer-related expenses for residents in that area."We're trying to get money in so we can pay as we go and not all at once," he said.