Archive for Wednesday, January 10, 2007

City OKs $5.5 million sewer plant addition

January 10, 2007

Basehor city council members took a step last week toward resolving the city's sewer capacity problem.

And they hope their decision will last for at least 20 years.

Dave Lutgen of McAfee, Henderson and Strick Engineering has been working on a sewer master plan for the city since last March. He presented the final plan to council members during last Thursday's council meeting.

As he worked on the master plan, Lutgen said, h explored three options:

  • Expanding the existing plant.
  • Constructing a new plant.
  • Expanding the existing plant and constructing a new plant.

"It's our recommendation that the city expand the existing plant to 2.1 million gallons per day," Lutgen said.

City Administrator Carl Slaugh said the current wastewater plant has a capacity of 560,000 gallons per day and the current demand is 485,000 gallons per day. There are also 2,480 platted lots in 15 residential subdivisions as well as expected retail development.

Lutgen said the projected 20-year sewage flow is 1.66 million gallons per day. An expansion that would handle 2.1 million gallons per day would accommodate the city for at least 20 years and provide some cushion in case demand exceeded the projection.

The current plant was designed to be built out in four phases as the city grows. A 2.1 million gallon expansion would be a complete build-out of the plant and would cost about $5.5 million. Some city council members said they thought expanding the current plant to the second phase and exploring the option of constructing a new plant would be the most cost efficient. Slaugh, however, supported MHS Engineering's recommendation.

"If we build out one phase at a time, it's more costly per gallon," Slaugh said. "We would be better off financially to build out in one big phase rather than three smaller phases. I'm still in favor of a complete build-out of this plant to 2.1 million gallons."

Slaugh said the recommendation also coincides with statements from Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials, who suggested the city use its existing infrastructure by expanding the current plant before constructing any additional plant. He said there are some additional options for the city in the future, but this is the best bet right now.

"It puts us in the best position for the growth we have on the books right now," he said. "It also gives us some additional flow for businesses. There's still some potential for a cooperative agreement with Bonner Springs, but that is further down the road."

The council approved, 4-0, MHS Engineering's recommendation to expand the existing wastewater plant to 2.1 million gallons. Council president John Bonee was not present.

Slaugh said that the city will need to raise sewer rates to help finance the project.

Qualifications for the design of the proposed plant have been solicited from several engineering firms, Slaugh said. And he anticipates he'll make a recommendation to the council at its Feb. 5 meeting.

In other action Thursday, the council:

  • Approved, 4-0, renewal of the Worker's Compensation Program with Kansas Municipal Trust for $15,410. Slaugh noted that the city received a 5 percent reduction this year because of the Risk Reduction Program managed by Gene Myracle, city superintendent.
  • Approved, 3-1, with Bill Hooker opposed, to move the part-time police clerk into a full-time position and hire another full-time police officer.
  • Approved, 4-0, to move the part-time administrative clerk to a full-time position.
  • Met in executive session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel matters and an appointed position.

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