Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Council to start exploring cost-saving strategies in Glenwood sewer project

July 9, 2009

The Basehor City Council revisited at its regular meeting Monday the decommissioning of the Glenwood Estates sewer lagoons.

Council member David Breuer said in his end-of-the-meeting report that he met with representatives from Leavenworth County earlier Monday to talk about the progress made on reworking Sewer District 3. Based on this meeting and previous brainstorming, Breuer said he wanted the council and county to find a way to ease the burden of project costs on Glenwood Estates residents.

Earlier in the year, the city decided to use a gravity feed to bring waste from the subdivision down to a new lift station, which will then be pumped to the current Pinehurst life station and into the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

If the city used a force main instead of gravity, Breuer said, it could shave about $300,000 off the total project cost of $1.7 million. This $300,000 savings could in turn reduce the cost to Glenwood Estates residents by about $200 per household per year. At the February public meeting concerning the sewer system, Leavenworth County engineer Mike Spickelmier said the cost to residents with the gravity feed could potentially be $1,000 more per house each year, or about $80 a month, for a period of 20 years.

“It’s pretty steep to try to come up with the extra money every month,” Breuer said at the council meeting.

Leavenworth County Commissioner John Flower was present at the meeting, and council asked for his input on the matter. Flower said Breuer’s solution sounded good, but didn’t offer the same long-term benefits as the gravity feed. The gravity feed, Flower said, leaves room for future development, while the force main does not.

“The problem is (the force main) is a point-to-point solution,” Flower said. “It will serve Glenwood and the schools and that’s about it. If you have any further growth along 158th Street, you’re going to have to bury new pipe.”

Council president Jim Washington said he didn’t understand why the discussion was taking place that evening because the city had decided it was against using force mains.

“I thought we put this to bed,” Washington said. “I’m not interested in one-shot solutions because they’re always going to cost more in the long run. We need to do this right the first time. We’re going to charge hook-up fees no matter what, and the gravity feed is a few more dollars, but it allows future development.”

Breuer said he did not completely agree the gravity feed was the best plan if the force main was less costly.

“I have a problem with it when we can save these people money with something that serves the same purpose,” Breuer said. “Either way, we need to get this going and take it seriously. If we don’t move this along, the school is going to be sitting there with a $22 million facility and no sewer running to it.”

The council agreed to put the item on the agenda for discussion at the next work session on Monday, June 13. Mayor Terry Hill said the city would work with the county to try to find Glenwood residents a $300,000 savings without using a force main.

“Maybe we can save these people money anyway,” Hill said.

Also on Monday, the council:

• Approved, 4-0, payment to CAS Construction for expansion of the wastewater treatment plan in the amount of $494,760.23. Council member Bill Moyer was absent from the meeting.

• Approved, 4-0, payments of $383,072.75 to Benchmark Management and $184,202.85 to Blacktop Paving and Construction for work completed on the Wolf Creek Parkway project, using the Kansas Department of Transportation transportation revolving loan 125.

• Tabled, 4-0, payment of $90,258.75 for the triangle land acquisition project until city attorney Patrick Reavey has met with all parties involved and acquired the proper documentation.

• Approved, 4-0, to add item F to the agenda, concerning the city’s salary matrix.

• Approved, 4-0, to keep the starting compensation for the city administrator at $32.76 per hour and to extend the wage scale to a maximum of $110,000 per year, with increased pay in 2.5 percent increments throughout years of service to the city.


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