Council submits budget for new fire department
The De Soto City Council approved its 2010 budget last Thursday and took the formal step of submitting the Northwest Johnson County Consolidated Fire District's 2010 budget to the Johnson County Commission.
The city's $7.52 million 2010 budget was approved as published. It establishes the mill levy for next year at 19.247 mills.
The city’s 2009 mill levy for that part of the city now served by Johnson County Fire District No. 3 was 17.207 mills.
In 2009, the mill levy for that part of the city served by the De Soto Fire Department was 27.335 mills, with the fire service fund contributing 10.128 mill to that total.
The 2009 budget for the city fire portion of De Soto was $8.82 million and $8.24 million for the remainder of the city.
The five-member committee overseeing the consolidation of the fire district and city fire department has also developed a 2010 budget. Its has two mill levies, one of 8.764 mills for the old city fire service area and another of 9.666 mills for the fire district service area.
Kent Dvorak, current fire district board member and also member of the consolidation committee, told the council the fire district service area would have a different levy until the current fire district’s debt was retired in 2014.
“I suspect in 2014 we'll be looking at a bond issue for a new fire station in the city of De Soto,” he said.
The city council had to submit the consolidation committee's proposed budget because as an advisory committee it lacked the authority to forward it to the county commission, Dvorak said. The fire district board would take the same action, he said.
The council also approved a $27,643 contract with to upgrade one of the wells in the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant well field north of the Kansas River. The work will replace the motor and provide an acid treatment of the well.
Earlier in the year, the city council agreed to upgrade two wells south of the river in the Sunflower well field. The thinking at that time was that the city should focus its investments on the south well field, which provided enough water to supply the city's immediate needs and didn't involve the risk of the failure of the waterline under the Kansas River.
The north well field and the water rights to it would be needed should the city join with other jurisdictions in a wholesale water cooperative supplied by the Sunflower water plant. A study jointly paid for De Soto, Gardner, Johnson County Water Districts No. 6 and 7 and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is currently exploring the feasibility of such an arrangement that would also supply Douglas County Water District No. 2.
In agreeing to go ahead with the well's restoration, the council went further than City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle recommended. After a review of the project and the budget with water supervisor Clarence Brunk, the two men recommended only the acid treatment at the cost of $11,274 with the motor replacement be delayed until planned rehabilitation work in 2010.
Noting that there was a chance the motor could fail and that it was the last of an other government 2300-volt model, the council approved the motor replacement.
The city would attempt to pay for the improvements from the water department revenue, but would borrow from the electrical utility fund if that wasn't possible, Guilfoyle said.