City takes step in Wolf Creek construction
By Kaitlyn Syring
Benchmark Management Owner Ed McIntosh is tired of waiting to get his work started.
At Monday night’s Basehor City Council meeting, McIntosh addressed the council concerning the revised agreement between the city and the Kansas Department of Transportation for the construction of Wolf Creek Parkway.
“We’ve been over and over this,” McIntosh said to council members. “I need to get my road going. Construction on the grocery store is going, and if we don’t move, we’re going to have a grocery store open with no road to it.”
KDOT staff had a few problems with Agreement 224-08, which was approved by the council on Jan. 5. KDOT did not approve of the handling of the $500,000 for the project, and its legal staff reworked the agreement so that it was acceptable to both parties and with prior agreements between Benchmark Management and the undersecretary of transportation.
Most notably in the new agreement, the commencement and finishing dates of construction were both extended by one year. Also, funding will not be issued until 30 days after the construction contract has been awarded, and the city no longer has the ability to use the $500,000 for another project in the event that the Wolf Creek project cannot be completed.
Council member Jim Washington said that he was concerned that the city would not be able to use the money for something besides Wolf Creek.
“If (McIntosh) gets hit by a train, and (his) funds go under, we’ve lost the ability to use that money elsewhere,” Washington said.
City Administrator Carl Slaugh said that he had no qualms with the revisions.
“I find the agreement acceptable,” Slaugh said. “KDOT has agreed to give us the $500,000, and the funding will come 30 days after the contract is let.”
The city could challenge the revision, City Attorney Patrick Reavey said. However, Reavey said that KDOT would probably come back with the same answer.
“The way it was presented to me, this is nonnegotiable,” Reavey said. “It’s my understanding that this is the only way KDOT will do this.”
Council members Roger McDowell and Keith Sifford said they were not aware that the city ever had intentions of using the money for any projects other than Wolf Creek.
“As far as I knew, that money was always earmarked for this specific project,” Sifford said. “So what difference does it make? The money is going to be there, and this is how we want to use it.”
Benchmark is set to begin work as soon as possible, McIntosh said.
“I don’t know why the construction timeframe was extended,” he said, “but I want everyone to know that we didn’t want that. We don’t want to wait until 2010 to start. I could start building that road tomorrow.”
The council approved, 4-1, the revised agreement with KDOT. Washington was opposed. Mayor Chris Garcia was ill Monday evening and was not present at the meeting.
In other business Monday, the council:
• Tabled, 5-0, the minutes from the Feb. 9 public hearing and the Feb. 17 regular meeting. The minutes are being reviewed by the city attorney. The Cedar Lakes public hearing minutes are now posted on the city’s Web site at cityofbasehor.org
• Approved, 5-0, a payment $296,700 request from CAS Construction LLC for the wastewater treatment plant expansion.
• Approved, 5-0, $2,111 change order No. 1 by Burns & McDonnell for expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.
• Approved, 5-0, to advise the U.S. Highway 24-40 Corridor Advisory Committee to add 147th Street as a future full-access intersection in the 24-40 Corridor Agreement.
• Approved, 5-0, authorization to begin advertising for bids on the Wolf Creek Parkway and 150th Street projects.
• Approved, 5-0, a preliminary plat for Southside Village, 15251 State Ave., as requested by Benchmark Management with the stipulation that the developer enter into agreement with the city to not protest a benefit district for the area.
• Approved, 5-0, to buy two new police vehicles. The city will also make plans to replace the cars regularly, when the cars reach 125,000 miles or about every four years.
• Approved, 5-0, an expenditure of $6,240 to clean out a ditch from 155th Street to 154th Terrace.
• Approved, 5-0, a demolition extension requested by the owner of the structure located at 2805 N. 155th St.. Demolition should now commence on April 1.
• Approved, 5-0, a joint resolution with Leavenworth County and the cities of Leavenworth, Lansing and Tonganoxie urging support of MARC for funding of road projects. MARC made final decisions on transportation stimulus projects on Tuesday. None of Basehor’s projects was approved.
• Tabled, 5-0, approval of the Tomahawk Valley Trail project and request for engineering design.