Archive for Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Water connection fee for developers will not change

July 9, 2008

At one time the City of Tonganoxie had one of the lowest water connection fees for developers compared with the fees from surrounding cities. But after Monday night's rate increase : the same can still be said.

The Tonganoxie City Council unanimously voted to increase water connection fees from $1,000 to $2,000.

"Right now our water capital fund is down to less than $1,000 with half a year left and there is still more work to be done with easement acquisitions preparing for the BPU line," said Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator. "Building permits are not coming in like we planned on them coming in and we don't see them coming in like that in the foreseeable future."

The city's plan was to have half of the money for the new BPU line to come from current customers and for half of the money to come from developers. In January the city attempted to raise the water connection fees to $1,750, but tabled the decision after listening to local developers.

City staff only had planned to raise the fees to $1,750 and come back in a few months to raise it again, but council members Paula Crook and Tom Putthoff wanted to raise it to $2,000 now and not raise it next year.

"I see what (developers) are paying for other city's tap fees and we will still be at the bottom. I just don't see a problem with it," Putthoff said.

With a $2,000 connection fee Tonganoxie would match Eudora for the lowest water connection fees. In an 11-city survey of water connection fees given to the council by Bard, the average for connection fees was $3,894. At $6,000, Basehor had the highest fees in the survey.

Council member Jason Ward voted for the increase, but he said he wanted Tonganoxie to stay competitive and not drive away any developers.

In other business the Tonganoxie City Council:

¢ Unanimously voted to: hold a work session to discuss the 2009 budget at 6 p.m. July 14 at the council chambers; have a special meeting for retail recruitment and retention public visioning session 6 p.m. July 16 at the Tonganoxie VFW Hall; have a special meeting to attend the County Comprehensive Plan public information meeting at 7 p.m. at the council chambers.

¢ Voted, 41, for pay request No. 7 to Meadows Construction for work completed on Pleasant Street. The amount was $71,084.29. Crook was the dissenting vote.

¢ Unanimously voted, for pay request No. 2, to Meadows Construction for work completed on Pleasant Street on First and Second streets. The amount was for $21,897.77.

¢ Unanimously voted, for pay request No. 10 to Prosser Wilbert Construction Inc., for work completed on the Tonganoxie Water Park. The amount was for $246,063.

¢ Unanimously voted to approve a special event application for the Leavenworth County Fair parade, which will be held on Aug. 13.

¢ Unanimously voted to allow Dave Bennett, fire chief, to seek bids for lease purchase agreements for new bunker gear.

¢ Unanimously voted for change order No. 17 in the amount of $1,741 to build a retaining wall around a Westar Energy transformer near the pump house. Mike Yanez the city administrator said the ground around the transformer met Westar's requirements, but to him it looked "very shaky." He made the decision to install the retaining wall. Councilmember Ward requested the city draft a letter to Westar about the issue. The city also unanimously voted for change order No. 18, which changed an area of the pool section near the pump house and shade structures from grass to rocks. Yanez said it would have been very difficult to mow the grass in that area and that is why the change was made.

For more on Monday night's meeting, visit www.tonganoxiemirror.com.

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