Archive for Wednesday, June 30, 2004

City council briefs

June 30, 2004

City hears a water pitch

Suburban Water of Basehor still wants to do business with Tonganoxie.

The company spoke in open agenda Monday to discuss supplying the city in some capacity with water.

City Administrator Shane Krull, however, reiterated that the city already was pursuing a water plan with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan.

"It's nothing personal it's just that when we went through it there was someone else who could meet our needs and at a more economical price," Krull said.

Ray and Mike Breuer of Suburban have made visits to the council in recent months in hopes of convincing city officials to buy their water, but the council is awaiting word from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment about a loan to help for a project with BPU.

Mike Breuer spoke first to the council and then Ray. They threw out new numbers to the council for a new water option. After a lengthy discussion, Krull was ready to move on.

"Are we spinning our wheels or do we want to get something done?" Krull asked.

The Breuers would like to provide emergency service to the city. At a cost of $80,000 for building, materials and construction expenses, the company would hook up to the city. Suburban then would charge a rate of $2.87 per gallon with a one million-gallon minimum per month.

"We're no fly-by-nights," Ray Breuer said. "We're here, and we're here to help make it easy on you."

Through BPU, the city would have a $2.6 million project to connect the city to its lines. That would be paid back in 20 years through the KDHE loan with an interest rate of roughly 3.8 percent. Krull said that fluctuates depending on the market, so he expected it could be anywhere from 3.5 to 4 percent.

Krull said the city wanted to avoid the middle man, which he said would be accomplished through BPU.

Suburban Water gets some of its supply through BPU as well.

Water billing change stands

The city council heard public opposition Monday to water billing changes, but the council stayed with a decision it reached June 14 to move due dates from the 20th of each month to the 15th.

Former council member Pat Albert told the council he wasn't in favor of changing the long-standing cycle. Albert, who is an instructor at Tonganoxie High School, said the billing date coincided with the school district's monthly paycheck. And, he said, with many residents employed by the district, it made sense to keep the cycle on the 20th.

Council member Velda Roberts disagreed.

"You can't take one group of people because of where they work," she said.

Currently, bills are due the 20th. If it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, residents actually have until officials pick up bills on Monday mornings. With billing moving up to the 15th, that policy will change. If the 15th falls on a holiday or the weekend, it will be due either the next business day or 4:30 p.m. Monday.

ATV law not on books -- yet

The council's ordinance banning all-terrain vehicles in the city without permits is void.The ordinance was approved with a 2-1 vote June 14, but the ordinance required a regular majority of the council, which is three votes. Ron Cranor and Steve Gumm voted for the ban, but Velda Roberts voted against at that meeting.

On Monday, the council directed city attorney Mike Kelly to redraft an ATV ordinance for consideration at the next meeting, set for July 12.

City refuses to waive fees

The city will not waive sewer and water taps for Tonganoxie school district.

USD 464 requested to not pay the tap fees for the remodeling of the school's Quonset hut northwest of the elementary school. The city previously waived a building permit fee, but the council did not want to set a precedent with the sewer and water taps.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.