Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2007

Over-capacity sewers cause county concern

August 30, 2007

Questions continue to be raised concerning wastewater facilities beyond capacity in southern parts of Leavenworth County.

At the County Commission's meeting Thursday, Public Works Deputy Director Mike Spickelmier said the city of Basehor recently sent the county a $1,632.50 bill for pumping the Cedar Falls lift station in Sewer District No. 7 and that costs associated with the overloaded facility continue to rise.

The lift station services the Cedar Falls and Cedar Lakes subdivisions near Basehor.

In March, commissioners agreed to pay for an initial pumping of the lift station once it reached levels over those permitted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, but Spickelmier said the county continues to receive bills for the service.

Commissioner Dean Oroke questioned why it was the county's responsibility to make further payments.

"They (Basehor) entered into an agreement with the developer on that," Oroke said. "I just have a hard time of understanding why we (the county) would be financially obligated."

"I can't see how no action on their part has been taken," he later added.

Commissioner Clyde Graeber asked, "When they give us an additional load, is KDHE informed?"

Basehor City Administrator Carl Slaugh said Tuesday that Basehor had indeed agreed to accept sewage from the subdivisions, but, prior to completion, the county issued additional building permits for a system that already was overburdened.

Cedar Falls and Cedar Lakes are located outside of Basehor city limits but are contiguous and could be annexed, Slaugh said.

Spickelmier also reported that county officials are still trying to get a response on Basehor's intentions in regard to Sewer District No. 3, which services the Glenwood subdivision and Glenwood-Ridge Elementary School on 157th Terrace in Basehor.

The board voted in July to install a surface aerator to help increase the water quality in the sewer district's overloaded lagoon system and to maintain compliance with KDHE standards at a cost of $4,300.

Spickelmier stressed the improvement was only a temporary solution, and in a July 6 memorandum said, "Connection to Basehor is the only viable permanent option."

No action was taken Thursday, but a meeting with Leavenworth County and Basehor officials to discuss sewer expansion projects and a possible interlocal agreement regarding sewers has been scheduled for Sept. 10.

Asked what he hopes to accomplish at the meeting, Slaugh said, "The whole reason for the meeting is to discuss priorities and goals. : Sometimes there's misunderstandings on what's been agreed upon. Ideally we'll talk about the difficulties that we have by taking on sewage from homes in the county : and probably get into some talk on expansion of the sewer line."

Also Thursday, Public Works Director Bill Green reviewed current road, bridge and drainage projects in the county.

Projects included work on Seven Sisters Road, where dirt work is completed; arrangements for tree removal on 147th Street between McIntyre Road and Dempsey Road; a new coat of oil on Kansas Avenue near 163rd Street; and Kansas Department of Transportation approval for preliminary plans to replace bridge E-45 on 243rd Street.

Green said that plans to repave County Road 2 from Kansas Avenue to Kansas Highway 32 have been put on hold after funds were cut from the road and bridge fund's proposed 2008 budget.

At Monday's meeting, county commissioners:

¢ Voted, 2-0 (Commission Chairman J.C. Tellefson was not present), to amend a preparedness and response contract between KDHE and the Leavenworth County Health Department through Nov. 30.

The amendment will mean an increase of $24,207 for "public health emergency preparedness and response activities" paid for by the state.

¢ Voted, 2-0, to sign a letter to comply with the code of federal regulations in receiving accreditation for a levee to protect southwestern Leavenworth and Douglas County.

Planning and zoning director Chris Dunn submitted the letter, which calls for officials to redesignate land as flood prone on the landward side of the levee.

¢ Voted, 2-0, to approve the purchase of 44,000 pounds of micro glass bead markers used in road paint for visibility from Texas-based SWARCO Industries for $12,540.

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