Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

City officials discuss treatment plant expansion

September 4, 2002

Operating at nearly 80 percent capacity, Basehor city officials are discussing possible expansion plans for the city's wastewater treatment facility.

And those expansion plans could cost anywhere from $3.5 to $5 million, city officials said.

Basehor City Council members and city staff met in a work session Tuesday, Sept. 3 to discuss future options for the facility, which came online in May 2001.

"There's no doubt we're going to have to do (expansion)," City Council member Joe Odle said. "I'd just like to know what it's going to (cost)."

The treatment plant currently processes, on average, 430,000 gallons a day. This serves approximately 850 Basehor homes and a population somewhere between 2,200 and 2,500.

The plant was designed as an expandable facility.

Phase two of the expansion plan allows for 755,000 gallons a day to be processed, serving 1,498 homes and a population of 4,494 people.

However, it's not phase two city officials are considering.

Discussed by council members Tuesday night was leaping ahead of phase two and moving directly to phase three and four.

"If there's not that much difference, we might as well go to phase four," Odle said.

Phase three and four would give the plant the capacity to process more than a million gallons a day, serving a population as high as 13,000.

City officials have not yet resolved how to pay for the plant's expansion.

City Treasurer Baron Powell said the city could choose to increase sewer connection fees from $1,400 to $3,500.

Powell did not propose a mill levy increase to fund the expansion.

"We don't want to bump up the mill levy to 40," Powell said.

"That should be the last resort," he added.

Powell said increasing the connection fees and using revenue from city growth is the best way to pay for the plant's expansion.

"We should be using growth- related revenue to pay for growth related expenses," he said.

There was no decision made on expansion during the Tuesday night meeting.

The City Council and city staff are scheduled to meet with engineers in coming weeks to discuss future expansion plans and cost estimates.

"Some of this has got to be done," Odle said. "We know we have to expand."

Construction for the new facility began in August 2000 and was originally estimated at a cost $3.1 million.

The facility replaced two lagoon cells that were operating over capacity for several years. The lagoon cells are currently being filled in by Miles Excavating.

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