Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

City council OKs bargain waterline project

December 6, 2001

The De Soto City Commission got an early Christmas present in the form of a bargain bid for the installation of a new waterline.

At a special meeting last Thursday, the city council awarded Razorback Contractors of Shawnee a contract to install a 12-inch waterline connecting the water towers at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant to the city. The company bid the project at $219,219, about half of city engineer Mike Brungardt's estimate of $427,428.

Various design costs and fees will add another $118,000 to the project. Still, Brungardt called the bid "amazing."

"I can't imagine it being done any cheaper," Brungardt said. "They're probably doing it at cost to keep their crew busy during the winter.

"The price of pipe is way down. One of the keys to pipe costs is the price of oil."

The new waterline will be installed from the closed plant's water towers north to the intersection of 95th Street and Sunflower Road. It will then be buried in a city easement north along Sunflower to 91st Street, where it will travel east to the Intervet Inc. campus.

The waterline will satisfy the city's commitment to provide Intervet with 30 million gallons of water a year. But Brungardt said when it is finished the Sunflower water towers will serve all of De Soto west of Penner and Lexington avenues. That will result in better flow rates, he said.

The city is financing the line's installation with a partnership loan through the Kansas Department for $750,000. The loan was to also pay for the expense of bringing electrical power and a heating source to the Sunflower water treatment plant. Cooper proposed the loan be rolled over into a bond issue at a later date. Revenue from the sale of water to Intervet would be used to retire the bond.

That is still the plan, Cooper said Monday, but now the city only needs to borrow $465,000. At that amount, Intervet will provide twice as much revenue as what is needed to retire the bond, he said.

The need to bring power and heat to the Sunflower water plant was necessitated by the Army's decision to end the expense of operating the Sunflower's internal electrical and gas systems. Brungardt told the council last Thursday that it will cost $128,000 to bring electricity to the water plant, pay for the heating system already added and make needed repairs.

The 12-inch waterline was originally considered last year. The city council refused to go forward out of concern the city would install the line and be deprived of an easement when the Sunflower was transferred to private hands. Brungardt said the city has been negotiating with the Army Corps of Engineers, who has assured him a guaranteed easement will be granted. The Corps also gave the city the right to entry so that the project can get started.

Razorback has indicated it wants to complete the project by Feb. 1, Brungardt said.

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