Sewer District No. 3 saga winding toward end
Final decision from Basehor City Council due Monday
The time will come next week for the Basehor City Council to make a final decision on how much to charge residents of the Glenwood Estates subdivision to connect to the city’s sewer system, and at Monday’s council work session, a Leavenworth County commissioner pled his case for the city to give the residents a break.
Commissioner John Flower on Monday asked the council members to chop about $1,500 from each Sewer District No. 3 homeowner’s sewer connection fee, reducing it from the amount of $4,425 currently listed in an interlocal agreement to $2,950, which was the regular in-city connection rate at the time the deal was signed between the city and the sewer district.
Flower told the council members that the county, Basehor-Linwood school district and city of Basehor each owed it to the Glenwood Estates residents to defray their cost after being forced to disconnect from their former sewer lagoons.
“We have citizens here who are incurring a tremendous expense, part of that brought on by all three of us,” Flower said.
The county commission serves as the board for Sewer District No. 3, which includes the Glenwood Estates subdivision south of Basehor, as well as Glenwood Ridge Elementary School and Basehor-Linwood Middle School.
The school district has agreed to contribute $200,000 toward the cost of hooking up the sewer district to Basehor’s system, and Flower said he was pushing the county commission to establish a revitalization district in the area that would allow the county to chip in about $94,000.
If the city agrees to Flower’s request to reduce the connection fees, it will result in a total savings of about $141,000. Those contributions from the city, county and schools would save the residents about $750,000 in all, when interest over a period of 20 years is included, Flower said. The total price of the project, also including interest, would come to about $2 million, he said.
Mayor Terry Hill said that if the city annexed the subdivision, as the council has discussed in the past, then the council should treat its residents as it would treat residents of the city. If the council could be reasonably sure that more than half of the homeowners would consent to a voluntary annexation, Hill said, then they should be treated as Basehor residents even before such an annexation would go into effect.
“It’s simply a matter of doing the right thing for these folks,” Hill said.
Because they live outside the city, the Sewer District No. 3 residents’ regular monthly service fees are also inflated to 150 percent of the regular city sewer rate. That regular rate was raised by about 40 percent earlier this year to alleviate debt for the city’s sewer fund.
Twice, earlier this year and in 2010, the council voted against similar requests to reduce the Glenwood residents’ connection fees. Flower said this would be the last time the issue came before the council, as the county will need to determine the total costs for the residents by October to meet a Kansas Department of Health and Environment deadline.
Council members said they would like the issue to be on the agenda for next week’s regular meeting.
Also on Monday, the council discussed:
• A request from homeowners in the Falcon Lakes subdivision for the city to perform improvements on Donahoo Road, from the Kansas Highway 7 intersection where reconstruction recently occurred to 141st Street, a stretch of about 720 feet.
Hill said that issue would also be put on the agenda for Monday’s meeting, allowing city staff to get more information about possible costs.
• Council members’ preference for a possible future city hall location in the Basehor Town Center area.
• An additional payment of about $780 to O’Donnell and Sons Construction for paving work done at Basehor City Park this summer.
• Possible applications for road construction grants through the Kansas Department of Transportation Corridor Management Program and the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program.
• Hiring a contractor to plant grass seed on properties along 150th Street that were affected by construction there in 2010.