Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2008

State’s OK saves city $2.7 million on sewer plant

February 27, 2008

The design of Basehor's wastewater treatment plant expansion is back on track.

Jeff Keller of the engineering firm Burns and McDonnell informed City Council members Thursday night that 30 percent of the wastewater treatment plant design was finished. He also discussed some specifics of the design so far.

The plant's capacity essentially is being doubled, and Keller said engineers are looking at two main areas of the plant for improvement - the initial lift station and the actual treatment area.

The lift station will receive improvements in two different groups. Those that are needed now include a trash basket and vault to reduce large debris and prevent pump damage, a chemical feed to reduce odor and corrosion, a third pump, variable frequency drives to control the speed of the pumps, a new generator and wider access.

Later on down the road, three new larger pumps and a new force main will be added.

At the treatment plant, three new concrete basins and two new secondary clarifiers will be added, along with improvements to security and monitoring systems, site roads and screening and grit removal facilities.

A request from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to re-evaluate the city's ability to finance a more stringent level of water treatment put the design on hold for a couple of weeks. The state's anti-degradation policy now requires all new or improved wastewater plants to provide higher-quality water treatment based on the city's economy. Basehor originally was required to comply with and received a permit for Level A, or the lowest stringency tier. However, KDHE recently asked the city about the feasibility of raising the required standards to a higher level, which would cost the city about $2.7 million more it had planned.

Keller met with KDHE officials to reiterate Level A was the highest standard the city could afford. He followed up the meeting with a letter to KDHE. Finally, he said he received word from KDHE that the initial requirements would stand, lifting the possible $2.7 million burden off of the city.

About 60 percent of the design should be complete by mid-March, with 90 percent done in late April, Keller estimated. A state review will take place in late April through May, and the bid phase will be in May through July.

"We're on schedule and the budget has not changed," Keller said. "The permit situation appears to be resolved."

Lagoon decommissioned

The council voted, 5-0, to move forward with an interlocal agreement with Leavenworth County to decommission the Glenwood Estates sewage lagoon and connect those users to the Basehor sewer system.

The lagoon, Sewer District No. 3, which also services Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, had become overloaded and has caused an odor problem since 2005.

According to Basehor City Administrator Carl Slaugh, KDHE in early 2006 ordered Leavenworth County to decommission the lagoon and connect to Basehor's sewer system. While the county had made a request to the city to hook up to the system soon after the order was given, Slaugh said, the city had to stall.

"A financial situation with Cedar Lakes and Cedar Falls has held up the project," he said about the nearby subdivisions. "But, it seems to be resolved now."

There is an added urgency to get the ball rolling on the lagoon project because the Basehor-Linwood school district is planning an expansion of GRES as well as construction of a new middle school across 158th Street from GRES.

The preferred plan from city staff is to install a gravity line from the lagoon area across a parcel of vacant private property and connect it to the Cedar Falls lift station. A grinder pump would have to be installed to the west to pump sewage from the new middle school across 158th Street and connect into the system.

Slaugh said the current wastewater treatment facility would be able to take on the added flows.

"There is a mandate from the state to do it," Slaugh said about decommissioning the lagoon. "No more hookups are allowed on the lagoon, and we want to get the project done, so we don't hold up the schools."

Basehor-Linwood Schools Superintendent Bob Albers also asked the council to expedite the process. He said the district plans to start construction on the new middle school in fall 2008. Construction costs, he said, will continue to rise the longer the district waits, which will force corners to be cut in other areas.

"We had thought that construction completion was critical, but it's actually the start of construction," Albers said. "We can't get a building permit until this situation is resolved, and resolved meaning the line is in and sewage is actually transported to the city of Basehor treatment plant. Everything you can do to help us, we appreciate."

Easements, funding needed for 150th Street

The council approved, 5-0, to move forward with the 150th Street project, obtain easements and right-of-way and make an application through KDOT for corridor management funds.

In December 2007, the council had agreed to begin design of improvements to 150th Street from Craig Street north to Parallel Road.

Dave Lutgen of McAfee Henderson Solutions Engineers told council members the survey indicates the street was platted east of the centerline, so most of the expansion will happen on the west side of the street. However, engineers are still in the preliminary design phase and will need to conduct more research, he said.

Easements and right-of-way will need to be obtained from property owners and property lines will change once that is complete, which means some residents on the street will lose part of their existing front yards. However, council members commented that the planned asphalt street with curbs and gutters, streetlights and a sidewalk on one side would be a marked improvement. Several residents also commented on the poor condition of the road during the public portion of the meeting.

Slaugh also said the city might be eligible to receive corridor management funds to help cover the cost of the improvements.

"We don't have the information from KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation) on what the criteria is to get those funds yet, but we would like to apply for those," he said.

155th funding sought

Council members have discussed possible improvements to 155th Street, including adding center turn lanes, several times and submitted a section of the road for funding consideration last year through the Mid-America Regional Council.

A points system was used to determine which street projects submitted would receive funding. More work complete and money spent on a project earned more points.

"We submitted a one-mile strip of this for MARC funding and we didn't make the cut," Slaugh said. "That project had 24 points and the ones that were funded were up around 84 points."

Slaugh said there may be another grant possibility for a portion of 155th Street through the Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program, which provides funding for states and local governments. The grants can be used to improve transportation in a variety of different ways from providing increased access to public amenities to reducing its impact on the environment.

The council agreed, 5-0, to submit the portion of 155th Street containing the 155th Street and Parallel Road intersection for funding through the TCSP Program.

The deadline for submitting the project to the list is Feb. 29. Slaugh said costs and drawings for the project submittal would be put together by MHS engineers.

In other action Thursday night, the council:

¢ Approved, 5-0, the final plat for Holy Angels Catholic Church and waiving of excise tax, as requested by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan.

¢ Approved, 4-1, with council president Terry Thomas opposed, to require payment of $682.50 and waive the fees and interest for Rusty West, contractor for the Basehor Post Office.


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