Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Sewer plant discussion on tap for council meeting

March 7, 2001

The Tonganoxie City Council on Monday will conduct a public hearing on a proposal to seek a $400,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to help fund sewer plant improvements.

The hearing will be conducted during the council's regular meeting, which gets under way at 7 p.m. in council chambers. At the meeting, the council also is expected to discuss the possibility of a casino in the Tonganoxie area, as well as set a date to talk about beefing up city building codes.

City administrator Chris Clark said Tuesday that he and Mayor John Franiuk have been working to draft a resolution concerning the casino, which the Delaware Tribe of Indians hopes to construct in Leavenworth County.

Once that's complete, he said, he anticipates the city council would schedule public hearings on the matter.

"Right now, we are trying to give something to the public to react to," Clark said. "It's in the planning stages."

Also on Monday, the council is scheduled to discuss the possibility of implementing an excise tax on new development. Proceeds from the one-time fee would be used to finance projects such as sewer plant improvements, which city officials say will cost about $2 million.

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: about $2 million.

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.

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