Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2005

City to reimburse property owner for sewer snafu

March 10, 2005

Pending the review and agreement of the city attorney, the city of Basehor will pay a local property owner more than $5,000 for expenses stemming from a sewer backup in February that severely damaged the resident's home.

At the Feb. 28 Basehor City Council meeting, City Council president Julian Espinoza requested that $5,467 be released to the property owner because a sewer backup in February was determined to be the city's fault. Espinoza said public work's employees as well as representatives from the city's insurance company told him the city was culpable for the sewer problem.

The problem stemmed from a lack of maintenance for two manholes in the neighborhood, the council president said.

The sewer problem damaged the property owners home to the extent that the family had to stay four nights at an area hotel, city officials said. The council added the family's lodging bill to the tally for expenses incurred from the sewer snafu.

In other action, the City Council:

  • Approved, 4-1, an amendment to municipal policy 5.04 regarding wastewater connection and treatment fees. The amendment will increase wastewater fees by 3.25 percent, from $6.77 to $6.99 per 1,000 gallons. The rate increase was built into the city's 2005 budget.

City Council member Iris Dysart was the lone vote of opposition. Dysart said she opposed the rate increase because residents have already been hit with several increases in the past.

"I guess that's what my concern is -- is it ever going to level out," she said.

City Council member John Bonee, although voting in favor of the measure, agreed with Dysart and said that policies regarding future rate increases need to be reviewed.

Bonee said the city was stuck with this year's rate increase because proper planning didn't take place, a mistake he'd rather avoid in the future.

"I do think something needs to be looked at on this real hard," Bonee said. He added, "I need to see there is a plan for the future."

  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing a computer system for the city's planning department. The new computer will cost $2,048 and will be used by the city's building codes inspector.
  • Approved, 4-0, an application for re-classifying a building in a business park at 14500 Parallel Road as industrial rather than commercial for purposes of complying with benefits in the city's neighborhood revitalization program.

John and Debbie Bonee, owners of the business park, submitted the application for re-classifying their building. The indicated a mistake was made on the grant application for the building and it was submitted to Leavenworth County as commercial rather than industrial uses, therefore setting the tax rebate period for the building at 5 years instead of 10 years. The building was built for industrial use, Debbie Bonee told City Council members.

Leavenworth County officials needed the City Council's stamp of approval before correcting the mistake.

John Bonee removed himself from voting on the item.

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