Archive for Wednesday, July 17, 2002

City Council goes after KDOT grant for road construction in 2006

July 17, 2002

Basehor city officials said submitting road design plans to the Kansas Department of Transportation for grant consideration was a gamble.

And it appears the city is willing to bet.

The Basehor City Council directed city engineer Joe McAfee to begin design plans for two city streets.

The design plans would be submitted to KDOT for a matching-funds grant available in 2006.

The gamble for the city is whether its investment in designing the plans, costing the city an engineering fee between $1,000 to $1,200, will pay off in the long run.

"We're gambling a significant financial investment on the possibility of getting this," said Joseph Scherer, Basehor's interim mayor.

McAfee said for every six KDOT grant applications, only one is approved.

"It's extremely competitive," McAfee said.

However, McAfee said KDOT might look favorably upon Basehor because the city has never submitted a grant application.

"They might really look favorably that you haven't been there before," he said.

The streets being submitted for grant approval are 158th Street and a frontage road between 158th and 155th streets that would run just north of the Basehor shopping complex.

Both streets are expected to support traffic for areas of commercial, industrial and retail development, which is one of the grant requirements, McAfee said.

It is unclear how much money the city would gain if KDOT approves Basehor for the grant. McAfee said the maximum amount would be $2 million.

If the city receives approval, KDOT would put up 75 percent of the road costs while the city would contribute 25 percent.

Basehor city codes administrator Mike Hooper said the city's 25 percent could come from a benefit district and funds gained through the city's transportation excise tax.

The grant must be submitted to KDOT no later than Aug. 1 and city officials should know by January whether the grant was approved.

The lone opposition to moving forward with the grant was council member Joe Odle, who said KDOT funds could be cut by the Kansas Legislature next budget season.

If KDOT funds are cut, the city's chances are even slimmer in receiving approval, he said.

"It's the only thing (the Legislature) didn't touch this season," Odle said.

Scherer abstained from voting on the issue because he owns property near 158th Street.

Also heard before council members Monday night was a request from Dennis and Debbie Breuer, owners of the Basehor shopping complex, asking city officials to allow the temporary building housing Community National Bank to remain as a permanent building.

The building housing the bank was approved by the city for 18 months as a temporary structure.

The Breuer's said the building should remain as a permanent structure so another business could be brought in.

"We went kind of beyond what we needed to do with the building," Debbie said.

"We'd like to recoup some of the money we put in there," she added.

City officials said the building is on a foundation and meets all current city codes.

Council members voted to send the request to the Basehor Planning Commission for consideration.

In other action, the City Council:

approved purchase of a tractor for the public works department in the amount of approximately $55,000.

approved contractor payments in the amount of $283,174 for the Falcon Lakes project.

approved payments in the amount of $8,125 to Ponzer-Youngquist engineers for design work to Kansas Highway 24/40 sewer interceptor line project.

tabled an ordinance adopting 1997 uniform fire codes.

tabled annual contractual appointments.

approved the appointment of George Smith, a Basehor resident, to the Basehor Planning Commission.

Smith will fill the position vacated by Dave Richardson. He will serve a three-year term that expires in May 2005.

approved final construction plans for phase one and two for the Falcon Lakes villas.

The next Basehor City Council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19.

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