Archive for Thursday, July 7, 2005

Census reports city’s population increase

asehor, Tonganoxie show residential rise

July 7, 2005

The most recent census information indicates the city's population increased by 272 residents and is close to tipping the scales at 3,000 residents. While the residential growth was expected, and is encouraging in some circles, continued progress may well hinge on the expansion of the wastewater treatment facility.

According to the Census Bureau, Basehor's population was 2,999 residents as of July 1 of last year. In July of the previous year, the Census listed the city's population at 2,727 residents.

Basehor's top two elected officials, mayor Chris Garcia and City Council president John Bonee, said the residential expansion is about where they expected it would be given the sheer number of residential developments in progress.

"I think we all know we're moving toward that growing stage," Garcia said. "I'm not surprised at all."

"That's right in line with where I'd thought it would be," Bonee said. "I'm a little surprised it's not more than that."

Both Garcia and Bonee said what future numbers might look like could depend in large part on the City Council's decision to expand the wastewater treatment facility. Based on city calculations, just 75 to 100 new connections separate the treatment plant from reaching its maximum capacity.

Council members have discussed expansion plans in recent weeks. Under most serious consideration is expanding the treatment plant to it's fourth phase capacity, which engineers estimate could cost between $5 million and $6 million.

Engineers also indicated a treatment plant expansion to its final phase could take two years to complete. Bonee cited the treatment plant question as a "concern that may limit that growth." Garcia said the state of the treatment plant is worrisome enough that "we do need to keep it on top of the pile."

Based on the city's latest population numbers, Basehor remains a city of the third class. When cities reach a population of 5,000, they have the option to become cities of the second class.

Second-class cities have the choice to overhaul municipal government; instead of electing at-large council representatives, second class cities may divide into voting districts or wards. The city of Bonner Springs elects its officials in four wards.

Should the city eventually choose to become designated as a second-class city, it would be forced to assume maintenance of roads such as 155th Street, Parallel and Leavenworth Road, which are currently funded by the state.

Basehor would have no choice but to become a first-class city once the population reached 10,000 residents.

The city's increase of 272 residents from 2003 to 2004 is the largest residential expanse in Leavenworth County, according to the Census Bureau.

The cities of Lansing and Tonganoxie increased in population, by 133 and 261 residents, respectively. Lansing boasted a 2004 population of 10,177 residents and Tonganoxie 3,597 residents.

Linwood, Easton and Leavenworth decreased in population by 5, 6 and 341 residents, respectively.

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