Archive for Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Tour provides council insights into workings at water plant

May 26, 2004

Tonganoxie city council members spent several hours May 5 getting their feet wet.

During a visit to the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities' water treatment plant, Mayor Dave Taylor, four city council members and City Administrator Shane Krull learned about how BPU draws water from the Missouri River for use by its customers.

City officials are considering a contract with BPU to provide water to the city of Tonganoxie, which has experienced water shortages during summer months. Tonganoxie currently is a member of a wholesale water district that buys water from Bonner Springs. And Bonner Springs actually obtains some of its water from BPU.

But the city is looking at the possibility of leaving that wholesale district and embarking on its own.

"I know we need your water," council member Ron Cranor said. "It's how we get it."

If the city were to contract with BPU, 10 miles of new 12-inch water transmission lines must be constructed between the intersection of 142nd Street and State Avenue and the city of Tonganoxie. That project would cost about $2.6 million. The city currently is exploring the possibility of obtaining low-interest loans for the project.

BPU draws water from the Missouri River and from an aquifer under the river into its Nearman Water Treatment Plant before it is distributed. James Epp, BPU's director of water support services, assured city officials that its water would be available.

"Our goal is to be on line, 24-7, 100 percent of the time," he said.

Other city council members on the tour were Velda Roberts, Steve Gumm and Emmett Wetta. Council member Kathy Graveman could not attend.

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