Water districts discuss supply sharing
No agreement about water was reached Thursday among Rural Water Districts 6 and 9 and the city, but a new proposal could be laid out at the March 24 city council meeting.
The parties met to discuss the possible distribution of 1,000 gallons of water per minute from the city of Bonner Springs
The rural districts and the city form Public Wholesale Water District 6, which usually meets once every two months.
Council members Pat Albert and Steve Gumm also met with water representatives, making the discussion a special meeting for the city.
The city and the water districts previously had discussed splitting the water from Bonner Springs three ways, with each taking roughly 333 gallons per minute.
But during a meeting Thursday, Rural Water District 6 chairman Mike Reischman said his board doesn't favor the split because it would be too expensive for the roughly 160 customers in his district.
"I couldn't get them excited about going that much further in debt," Reischman said. "We need water, but not that much water."
Doug Smith, chairman of Rural Water District 9, suggested Rural Water District 6 drop to 240 gallons per minute, while Smith's district and the city each could take 380.
The boards and council will discuss the new proposal. They hope to reach a decision by the March 24 city council meeting. Council member Albert urged for a new proposal in time for that meeting.
Albert and fellow council member Cami Zimmerman, along with Mayor John Franiuk will end their terms that night.
"I think there's an advantage for us having more," Albert said about the water.
City Administrator Shane Krull was in favor of the configuration, also noting the city could use more water.
"Where we were at, we needed a little bit more, but we felt it was the best-case scenario," Krull said.
The city had hoped to construct a plant on the Kansas River, but a lack of funds has pushed the city in the direction of sharing with both rural water districts.