Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2010

KDHE agrees to different repayment plan on sewer loan

July 15, 2010

Residents of Leavenworth County Sewer District No. 3 have received good news from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

County Counselor David Van Parys told Leavenworth County commissioners Thursday the KDHE has changed its stance on the repayment structure of a revolving loan that is to finance the $1.37 million new sewer line connecting the Glenwood Estates subdivision south of Basehor to that city’s wastewater system.

The KDHE has mandated the lagoon system now serving Glenwood Estates be closed.

Van Parys said KDHE officials have indicated the loan can be back loaded, a debt retirement schedule that allows for smaller payments in the early years and larger ones near the end of the loan’s term.

Municipalities commonly used the method to take advantage of growth sewers and other infrastructure projects that were expected to spur growth, Van Parys said.

The sewer line that replaces it is expected to serve future growth along its route.

Last month, the county awarded the project’s construction bid to Havens Construction of Liberty, Mo., for $513,214.

Leavenworth County Commissioner John Flower will work with county staff to develop options for the assessment fee charged to sewer district residents. That final assessment number is expected to be approved early next year, when final costs, including the remediation of the lagoon, are known.

Also affecting the assessment will be the number of partners in the project. The Basehor-Linwood School District is expected to contribute $200,000 toward the sewer line, which will serve the district’s new middle school. The city of Basehor also considered an interlocal agreement in which it would contribute $100,000. That agreement was withdrawn when 100 percent of sewer district residents didn’t approve voluntary annexation, but county commissioners have expressed hope Basehor will still be a partner in the project.

In other action of the last week, the commission:

• Appointed Jerry Willburn to fill the vacancy as Stranger Creek Township clerk.

• Heard an appeal from Randy Baum of Vanum Construction, requesting the commission reconsider rescinding a bid awarded to the firm to build the county’s new EMS headquarters. The commission awarded the bid to the second-lowest bidder when it was learned Vanum had paid awards or settlements for jobs it did in the cities of Eudora and Shawnee.

Baum said those were the only two blemishes on the company’s record. The Eudora project, involved numerous change orders, to which the company thought it would be given time to respond. However, an arbitrator found differently. The Shawnee problem was determined to be a design flaw, Baum said.

Commissioners encouraged Vanum to bid on future county projects. But Commissioner J.C. Tellefson said because of the county’s past bad experiences with construction of EMS stations, it was decided to move ahead with a different contractor.

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