Archive for Monday, March 15, 2010

Sewer district 3 residents to pay full connection fees

Basehor City Hall is home of the Basehor City Council

Basehor City Hall is home of the Basehor City Council

March 15, 2010

Residents of sewer district 3 will have to pay the full connection fee when they hook into Basehor’s wastewater treatment plant.

During City Administrator Mark Loughry’s report at Monday’s Basehor City Council meeting, he announced the city had only received seven forms back from its attempt to acquire a 100 percent voluntary annexation of the Glenwood Estates subdivision into the city.

At the council’s Nov. 16, 2009 meeting, the council approved, 4-1 with member Iris Dysart opposed, to offer Glenwood homeowners a reduced flat rate of $2,000 per lot to join the city’s sewer system when their current lagoons have been decommissioned. However, the lower price would only go into effect if the subdivision had 100 percent of the 97 homes agreeing to voluntarily annex into the city.

The city prepared agreements to be sent to each of the 97 lots, and having only received seven back, residents will now have to pay the full $4,425 per lot as a connection fee.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s issue of the Sentinel.

Comments

IamTHATguy 4 years, 6 months ago

Wow, only 7 of 97 returned??? MAYBE you should try actually MAILING the letters to the homeowners next time? I'm a Glenwood resident, and you NEVER sent me a letter. I spoke to 3 other neighbors who never received one either. I finally found someone who received a copy from another homeowner - the "letter" was actually a one-paragraph form that says "I agree to be annexed", with NO other info - construction costs, tax increase info, project and annexation timeframes, etc. Essentially Basehor asked anyone who "received" this "letter" to sign a BLANK check. Not well communicated at all.....

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Dennis Mertz 4 years, 6 months ago

The City of Basehor does not control the construction of the sewer lines. That is handled by the sewer district which is also your County Commissioners. The City was only trying to mitigate the cost to the residents of Sewer District 3 by reducing the connection fees. In exchange we wanted you to become part of the City. Why should the tax payers of Basehor give your sewer district a $200,000 discount and you not become a tax payer in the City limits also? We have had many meetings about this and it has been published in the Basehor paper.

Dennis Mertz Council Member City of Basehor

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ChemE 4 years, 6 months ago

Dennis,

Thank you for your response.

The residents of sewer district #3 have complaints about the fact that the city required a 100% yes vote and did not tell residents where to get the forms (or better yet mail forms to the residents). In fact it was the president of the Glenwood Ridge home owners association who had the forms, even though the Glenwood Ridge home owners only account for 75% of the residents in sewer district #3. Frankly that is ridiculous and I do not believe the city expected/wanted the vote to pass. With the vote failing, the city collects the additional $200,000 for connection fees (like you pointed out) and with the residents connected to the city sewer you can annex them against their will.

Basically the city gets to have its cake and eat it too. Collect the higher connection fee now and collect the additional tax money later.

Would you be willing to support a commitment from the city council not to annex the residents of sewer district #3 for a defined number of years in exchange for the residents paying the higher connection fees? Or any other commitment from the city to ease the residents fears that we will have to pay now and pay later, without attaching unreasonable 100% yes votes for annexation? The city council votes do not require 100% yes/no, why did you have that stipulation on the sewer district residents?

Citizen Sewer District #3

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Jason Bailey 4 years, 6 months ago

Annex me. I will make it my full-time job to ensure every commissioner and council member are voted out as soon as I am granted that right.

This annexation and outrageous fees for 20 yrs due to the new schools are gestapo tactics, plain and simple.

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IamTHATguy 4 years, 6 months ago

Dennis – I’m well aware that the city does not control construction of the sewer interceptor. The city does need to better work with the residents and county instead of going rogue with unrealistic “100% compliance or nothing” resolutions.

You were at the October meeting. I met you, and you seem like a nice, reasonable guy. In that meeting, residents were told that numbers would be compiled so that we could get a reasonable idea of what our costs per household would be both with and without annexation. Of course, we were also told that we would receive that information right after the first of the year… Wouldn’t you AT LEAST want to know those numbers before you personally would consider signing such an agreement?

As has been mentioned, distribution of the agreement was a joke. At the VERY least, they should have been mailed. Instead, we are expected to look for newspaper articles and neighborhood word-of-mouth to find information? If you have business with me that requires a legal agreement, you need to at least do your part in getting that agreement in my hands for consideration. Simply handing 97 legal documents to one individual (who has zero authority to act on anyone’s behalf) does not constitute distribution.

Finally, have you read the annexation agreement? It was drafted by your attorney to be 100% to Basehor’s benefit. For the residents of SD #3, it’s simply the legal equivalent of a blank check – “I agree to be annexed”. Is that today, tomorrow, 50 years from now, or maybe the day after we hook on to the sewer and pay the non-resident hookup fee? See the problem? I keep hearing about a reduced connection fee in exchange for voluntary annexation - the agreement does NOT contain any such language. You gain voluntary annexation while promising nothing with this agreement. I want written agreements the spell out the obligations and benefits of both parties, not blank, undated legal agreements and verbal statements. That’s just the right way to do business.

I’m not opposed the being annexed – it’s going to happen sooner or later; same with the sewer system. I think many others feel the same way. But, let’s not get the cart before the horse here... Basehor and the county need to get numbers together and present them to the homeowners, prepare a plan, and actually meet commitments instead of giving lip service, passing unreasonable resolutions and threatening people’s finances. Realize that you will NEVER come up with a 100% plan, but instead work for a 75% plan, and let’s go from there.

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Dennis Mertz 4 years, 5 months ago

I completely understand your frustration of not knowing what it is going to cost. Those Sewer District #3 residents need to sit at one of the meetings with the County Commissioners and let them know how you all feel.

I agree that the annexation letters should have been mailed but now doubt that 50% of them would have been signed. So would it really have mattered if there was better language written on it. We still don't know a price and will not until the project is done. That is how this works. I would be upset also about not knowing a price.

We have tried to mitigate the cost and reduction of fees to residents that are not our citizens. I believe that says a lot for the City of Basehor. We have also asked for the County to make a commitment of some kind as to improve your streets and maintenance until a future annexation. They have failed to make this commitment.

It is completely up to the County at this point. I doubt the City (it's up to the Mayor) will meet on this topic again unless the taxpayers of sewer district #3 or the County start coming up with reasonable solutions.

I have spent over 50 hours dealing with this topic. I have organized meeting between all parties. We as the City have tried to come up with a solution. When are the tax payers going to come to us with a proposal? It's a negotiation. It would help to have your participation. You (Sewer District #3) get the signatures and make the offer.

These are my opinions and may not be the same opinion that the Mayor or the rest of the Council may have.

Sincerely,

Dennis Mertz Council Member City of Basehor

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