City approves land option to tap water
Tonganoxie soon could have a new water source.
Monday night, city council members agreed to an option to purchase 65 acres of land near the Kansas River off Leavenworth County Road 25. The property is owned by Peggy Cooper.
The offer is contingent on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment granting water rights to the city for two new wells on the land.
The option is costing the city $30,000, which is 10 percent of the total land cost. A water improvement fund, established in 1996, will be used to fund the purchase of the city's new water source, pumps and wells. More money will have to be borrowed from KDHE to pay for other plans.
The city has negotiated with Cooper since February to purchase the property. In November, it entered into a $2,000 access agreement to drill test wells. Once the results showed the water to be treatable, the city pursued the intent to purchase. Mayor John Franiuk said the ideal wells would secure water for Tonganoxie for at least the next 30 years.
"The city currently has only one well in which to supply the water needs of the existing residents of the community," Franiuk said. "Currently, on the books there are 479 proposed lots contained in 10 subdivisions, with an estimated impact of 1,024 households. The existing water capacity of the city simply cannot meet this need."
Because the water is near the river, it requires a different method of treatment, Franiuk said. Eventually, the city plans to construct a water treatment plant at the new water source. However, water will be treated in Tonganoxie until the treatment facility is completed. Franiuk said he hopes the plant will be built on the 65 acres within the next 10 years.
Work sessions between the council and city engineers will begin as soon as possible to begin solid planning for the new plant.