Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Edwardsville council hears sewer alternatives

February 27, 2008

Three alternatives to provide sewer service north of Riverview Avenue were outlined Monday for the Edwardsville City Council.

During a study session before Monday's meeting, Lance Scott of Cook, Flatt & Strobel, the city's engineering firm, explained that, because of the topography, sewage from the 116-acre area north of Riverview from 110th Street east to about 104th Street can either be routed south to hook up with the proposed Betts Creek Interceptor or pumped north across Interstate 70 to tie into the Little Turkey Creek system in the area of Village West and the Kansas Speedway.

Officials of the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kan.-Wyandotte County have said that system should have the capacity to accept the sewage from Edwardsville, City Administrator Michael Webb said.

The area in question is important since, because of its proximity to Village West and the other new construction across I-70, it is one of the prime locations for development in Edwardsville. Sewers are vital to that development, and the city must either build them itself or find developers with deep enough pockets to build them.

Scott outlined the three options for the 116-acre area:

¢ Take everything to the Betts Creek Interceptor. The Betts Creek Interceptor eventually will run south through the Betts Creek watershed until it winds up in the area of Kansas Highway 32. Estimated cost for this option would be $6.6 million, Scott said.

¢ Build a pump station and transfer the sewage under I-70 to the Little Turkey Creek Interceptor system in Kansas City, Kan. Estimated cost: $2.3 million.

¢ Connect to the Little Turkey Creek system temporarily, as above, and, once other Betts Creek facilities are completed, reverse the pumps and pump the sewage into the Edwardsville system. Estimated cost would be $7.1 million.

The other topic discussed during the study session was a presentation by Al Cathcart of Olsson Associates about the construction of quiet zones so that train engineers would not have to blow their horns at grade crossings.

There are three public crossings in Edwardsville and one private one. The public crossings are at 4th Street, 9th Street and 94th Street and the private crossing is at Holliday Sand, slightly less than a mile west of 4th Street. About 70 trains a day traverse these crossings, sounding their horns for 15 to 20 seconds at each one.

Essentially, Federal Railroad Administration rules for quiet zones require the construction of extensive guardrails and other systems that make it physically impossible for motorists to cross when a train is near.

Cathcart outlined the steps that would be necessary a feasibility study, followed by a public engagement process, plus project implementation to see the process through to its conclusion. The engineering firm would do this for $29,000, according to the document submitted to Council members.

More detailed estimates would be prepared as part of that process, but Cathcart suggested that actual costs to install medians and the other protective measures could run $50,000 to $70,000 at each crossing.

The Council is expected to discuss the proposals further at its next meeting. Council member Chuck Adams asked that it be added to the agenda for the March 10 meeting.

At least one member of the public enthusiastically supports the change. During the public comment part of the meeting, Jim Guillory of Edwardsville thanked the Council for considering the change.

"The first thing I hear in the morning is a train," he said. "The last thing I hear before I go to bed at night is a train, and if I get up during the night to go to the bathroom, I'll probably hear a train."

Guillory, who said his career has been in public health, said the health impacts of this sort of noise pollution are well established. Further, he said, a study in Chicago found that homes within half a mile of railroad crossings lost 10 percent of their value.

In other business, the Council:

¢ Agreed with Police Chief Mark Mathies' request to hire two new police officers, Paul Gamble and Joshua Brooks.

¢ Approved change orders totaling $6,938 for the Eastside Regional Detention Basin, part of the Raintree Apartments project.

¢ Approved a $1,000 donation to support Project Graduation, the alcohol-free post-graduation activity at Bonner Springs High School.

¢ Approved tax-exempt applications for Carlisle Tire & Wheel, Office Max, LaGasse, Fastenal, Herff Jones, Medart and Millard Refrigerated Services. The businesses had all received tax abatements previously.

¢Heard a year-end report from Fire Chief Cliff Lane that said the department responded to 699 incidents during 2007, with an average response time of 2 minutes, 41 seconds. Total losses due to fire in 2007 were $192,700. No firefighters were seriously injured during the year, Lane said.

¢Heard a report from Police Chief Mathies covering the period 2005 through 2007. The report showed the following number of offenses in 2007: arson, 2; assault, 3; aggravated assault on a law officer, 1; aggravated assault, 4; battery, 11; aggravated battery, 3; burglary, 42; criminal damage to property, 55; domestic battery, 29; DUI, 24; forgery, 5; harassment by telephone, 19; attempted murder in the second degree, 1; rape, 1; sexual assault, 1; sexual battery, 2; felony theft, 14; misdemeanor theft, 92. Mathies told the Council that a new police record system that was approved earlier will be installed soon and that will allow the preparation of monthly reports.

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