Archive for Wednesday, February 28, 2001

City Council Briefs

February 28, 2001

Public hearing set on sewer plant

City council members set a public hearing for March 12 on a proposal to seek a $400,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to help fund sewer plant improvements.

More than $2 million in work is needed at the plant, city officials have said.

According to city administrator Chris Clark, the city's permit for discharge of water from the plant will expire at the end of the year. In addition, new mandates require a higher standard for disinfection of that water. So the treatment plant requires a $589,732 upgrade.

In addition, the plant is facing problems with capacity. And if it comes too close to capacity, Clark said, the state will halt issuance of new building permits, as it did in Basehor recently. To bring the plant to a capacity that would handle estimated growth for the next 20 years would cost about $1,476,118, estimates show.

The plant also requires about $300,000 worth of renovation for sludge processing.

The total cost: $2,365,850.

"We think we can get down below $2 million," city engineer Cecil Kingsley told council members Monday night.

To finance the improvements, the city will seek grants, as well as consider a $500 increase in the fee charged to connect to the city sewer system, and also look at financing the project over 20 years, said Clark, who has written a seven-page report to the council on the plant.

The report is available at city hall.

Decision coming on street projects

Saying they didn't have enough information to make a decision, city council members Monday night decided to wait until their March 12 meeting to act on a request for an engineering study on East Fourth Street.

Next year, the state plans to improve the intersection of Fourth Street and U.S. Highway 24-40. That work would stretch about 600 feet east and west of the intersection.

The city engineer and public works director said they believe it makes sense to widen and improve Fourth Street between downtown and the state project, at a cost of $453,012. They asked the council Monday night to approve the design work, at a cost of $35,000 to $40,000.

But Kathy Graveman, council member, questioned whether the city should spend money designing a project that might not be done for one or two years.

Several other street projects have been on the city's priority list for some time, including Fourth Street from Pleasant Street east to the bridge; Village Street between First Street and U.S. Highway 24-40; and Sixth, Eighth and River streets.

"These streets were on the priority list before the downtown project," said Butch Rogers, city public works director.

Money continues to be an issue, according to city engineer Cecil Kingsley.

"This is a problem that's not going to go away," he said.

Council members Pat Albert and Ray Usher said they favor work on Fourth Street.

"I think that affects the most people of anything in our whole city," Albert said.

But Graveman and council president Janet Angell said they want the council to establish a priority list for street work before committing funds for Fourth Street engineering.

Rogers encouraged council members to drive on all four streets.

"Some of them are going to really get bad before they get fixed," he said.

On a 3-2 vote, with Mayor John Franiuk joining Graveman and Angell, the council decided to wait until its March 12 meeting to act on the engineering fund request.

City wants state to slow traffic

City council members, the mayor and city administrator on Monday signed a letter asking for lower speed limits on U.S. Highway 24-40 in Tonganoxie.

The letter also seeks support for traffic-control devices to help pedestrians cross the highway.

The letter will be sent to state Sen. Bob Lyon, R-Winchester, and state Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, as well as Dean Carlson, secretary of transportation for Kansas.

Council OKs $500 for chamber booth

Council members agreed to give $500 to the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce for its booth at the Kansas City Home show in March.

The show will be March 22-25 at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Mo. Last year, the city also provided $500 toward the effort, designed to promote Tonganoxie.

Local developers planning city park

The council agreed to enter into an agreement with developers of Stone Creek subdivision in northeast Tonganoxie for a park.

The developers will construct the one-acre park, along with play equipment and off-street parking. The park then will be donated to the city.

In addition, the council agreed to seek a lease agreement with the Elder family to farm about 64 acres the city owns southeast of Linwood. The city purchased the land for water wells. According to a draft of the five-year lease, the Elders would pay $12 an acre.

Water detention plan getting once-over

Work continues on a proposed stormwater detention ordinance.

Council member Pat Albert on Monday expressed concern that the owner of a one-acre commercial or residential tract would have to pay $3,000 for an engineering study on the need for stormwater detention.

"I still don't believe that should be what our approach should be," he said. "That's not right."

Copies of the proposed ordinance are available at City Hall.

The Tonganoxie Planning Commission will consider the ordinance at its meeting next Wednesday. And the council could consider it at its March 12 meeting.

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