Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Residents complain of damaged properties

Donna Mittong shows off the damage done to her property when work was being done on 150th Street.

Donna Mittong shows off the damage done to her property when work was being done on 150th Street.

June 10, 2010

While the city successfully repaired 150th Street, a few Basehor residents are telling the city just what they think about the state in which the project left their yards.

Donna Mittong and George Smith attended Monday night’s Basehor City Council work session to talk about their frustrations with torn up yards and deep ditches, which have been the results of the recent road project on 150th Street from Craig to Parallel.

City Administrator Mark Loughry said the project had been carried out in accordance with design, but the work caused properties on the street, including those of Smith and Mittong, to be altered. Mittong told the council her land had changed drastically, and she was no longer able to mow her entire lawn because of a steep drop in her yard created during the roadwork.

“Everyone has the benefit of the new street, not just me,” Mittong said. “But I’m the only one whose yard was all torn up in the process, with possibly the exception of George.”

Mittong also said she had recently had trouble with water collecting on her yard in the uneven spaces.

“I’ve lived there 20 years and never had a problem with water. But now it’s always full of water,” she said.

Echoing Mittong’s sentiments was Smith, who said he was exasperated by the entire project, what it did to his property and how much of an inconvenience it had been.

“This whole thing has been a nightmare,” Smith said. “You have to watch (the construction workers) at all times. Multiple times since springtime they’ve been out there throwing seeds. Now they’re bringing out some topsoil that’s supposed to be four to six inches, but when you go out there, you can kick it around, and you’re down to the junk dirt. It’s just not being done right.”

Loughry said he and City Engineer Mitch Pleak had gone out to Mittong’s property in April and later approached her with possible solutions for the drop off in her yard with prices ranging from $850 to $2,500. The cost of such a landscaping project would fall on the city. Mittong rejected each of the city’s proposals, Loughry said.

Council member Bill Moyer expressed his enthusiastic support of the city creating a solution to the problem that satisfied Mittong. He said he empathized with Mittong and Smith, and he wanted to be part of a city council that strived to help its citizens.

“If it were my yard, I’d be upset, too,” Moyer said. “We have resources as a city, let’s apply the resources and get the job done right. That’s the reputation of a really good city. They put in a good road, and when there’s second and third effects, we take care of it. Sometimes the optimal solution costs more. My recommendation is (figure out) what’s it going to cost to solve the problem. Let’s demonstrate to the property owners we’re willing to find a permanent solution that solves the problem. Let’s let them know this city council will spend the money to fix this.”

It was the consensus of the council to have Pleak and Loughry work with Mittong to find a viable option to fix her yard she will find satisfactory and bring this option up for vote at a later city council meeting.

Also on Monday night, the council:

• Discussed renewing the city’s health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

• Discussed renewing the city’s dental insurance with Municipal Risk Pool.

• Heard an update on the 150th Street project from Pleak, who said the project was nearly complete, but seeding would have to be done in August, because that was when the next seeding season began.

• Discussed change orders on the Wolf Creek Parkway project. Change order 5A would authorize the installment of riprap around the detention ponds located throughout the project. The riprap would eliminate the immediate need for retaining walls around these ponds and cost about $100,000 less. Change order 5B would authorize the installment of a retaining wall along the roadway, not to exceed a cost of $19,764.08. Loughry said he would bring back multiple estimates at the June 21 regular council meeting that showed the cost of installing riprap and the retaining wall on the roadway, along with the cost of completing the project according to the original design.

• Discussed the city’s purchasing policy. The new purchasing policy, if approved by the council, would have an emergency spending clause with an increased authorized spending amount for the city administrator.

• Discussed the actuary study required for the city to maintain its Generally Accepted Accounting Principles compliance.

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