Archive for Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Sewer plant flows toward summer completion

December 6, 2000

Sometime next summer, a $7 million sanitary sewer plant in Basehor will go on line, poising the city for increased development.

Construction began last summer on the plant, which will replace the city`s lagoon system.

"We were way beyond capacity of the lagoons," said Mayor John Pfannenstiel.

Therefore, the state placed a moratorium on new links to the lagoon system. But that`s changed with the construction of the new plant, northwest of the intersection of 155th Street and Parallel Road.

Iron Creek, a 54-lot residential development in northern Basehor just off 155th Street, has hooked into the city system.

"The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has approved at least a temporary connection to the lagoons in anticipation that the plant is coming on line," Pfannenstiel said.

City officials expect the plant`s completion to spark other development in Basehor.

"More than 1,000 homes are on the drawing board," Pfannenstiel said. "It`s phenomenal."

The city is financing the plant`s construction through about $600,000 in reserve funds and with help from a state revolving loan fund that carries a 3.07 interest rate.

"It`s not grant funds, so we`ll pay it back over 20 years," the mayor said.

The loan will be retired through monthly sewer fees and connection fees.

"We`ve done spreadsheets on it, and anticipating 50 new homes a year, we can increase the rates at 3 or 3.5 percent a year," Pfannenstiel said. The connection fee will increase at a higher rate.

The plant will serve existing homes and businesses in Basehor, and Pfannenstiel said it`s possible residential developments between U.S. Highway 24-40 and the Kansas Turnpike might be linked to the new plant. Those developments presently use lagoons or septic tanks for their sewage.

"The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has indicated that they won`t renew the permit for at least one of those lagoons," he said.

Presently, Basehor`s lagoon system handles about 275,000 gallons of sewage a day. When the first phase of the plant comes on line, it will process up to 569,000 gallons a day. The plant`s expansion capacity is up to 2.5 million gallons daily.

"This is a 50-year site," Pfannenstiel said. "Without it, development can`t occur."

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