Council approves $2 million upgrade to city’s sewer plant
Proposed work on Tonganoxie's wastewater treatment plant received the green light at the May 28 city council meeting.
The council approved an upgrade to the plant that would facilitate 750,000 gallons per day. A proposal for a 500,000-gallon daily capacity was also discussed, but council members said they were concerned about population growth. So they approved the larger facility, which will cost $202,000 more.
"I think it's money well-spent," said Mayor John Franiuk.
Tonganoxie's population, as calculated by the Kansas Water Office, increased by 1.59 increase in the last 10 years.Pat Cox, BG Consultants vice president, said judging population growth was difficult.
"Of course, I don't have a crystal ball," Cox said.
The treatment facility, which will likely go to bid in December, will be a $2 million project. City Administrator Shane Krull hopes the project, a one-year endeavor, will start next February.
The city was already awarded a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant, and the remaining money will come through a 20-year loan through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Krull said local sewer fees would likely increase, along with sewer hook-up charges for new homes.
"We'll need to take a look at rate structure," Krull said. "With hook-up fees and a large capital project, we'll have to address that with sewer rates. There's probably still a little bit of number crunching on it but we're closer to defining what we need to support it."
Although much of the wastewater plant, which is just east of Tonganoxie, must be replaced, the current oxidation ditches can be used as a repository for storm water and heavier flows, Krull said. It also allows the city the opportunity to store water as it's treated.
Using parts of the current facility was discussed, but state officials said little of the existing plant is usable.
"It was more cost advantageous to pursue the new facility and to utilize as much as possible," Krull said.