Congressman Moore gets De Soto plant in funding pipeline
Rep. Dennis Moore has turned the tap to a pipeline that could produce $500,000 for the renovation for De Soto water treatment plant at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.
The congressman informed city officials last week he got an earmark for that amount placed in the fiscal year 2010 Interior Environment Appropriations Act when the bill was considered in a U.S. House subcommittee.
Moore’s office noted the bill had numerous thresholds to clear before it becomes law, probably sometime in the late summer before the start of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2009.
An email on the earmark states the bill will be considered by the full committee in a “few weeks” and on the House floor before the end of July. As the House bill goes forward, the Senate is working on its own version of the bill, albeit slowly, the email said.
The congressman’s office said Moore proposed seven different earmarks for the bill, but the De Soto water plant proposal was the only one accepted.
De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said he informed Sen. Pat Roberts office of Moore’s earmark on Monday. The senator’s representatives said they were pleased with the development but would continue to pursue other funding measures for the Sunflower water plant.
“They said the possible regional approach at Sunflower made it more popular,” Guilfoyle said. “I told them Gardner was now involved.”
Last week, the city of De Soto and Johnson County Rural Water Districts No. 6 and 7 applied for a Kansas Department of Health and Environment grant that would provide half of the $25,000 needed for a feasibility study of a regional water wholesale district using water produced at the Sunflower water plant.
As that application was being made, the city of Gardner, which is exploring different options for its long-term water supply, asked to join the study.
It had been estimated $5.2 million were needed to upgrade the Sunflower plant to serve De Soto’s needs. Those cost could change with added partners, said De Soto city engineer Mike Brungardt.
When the De Soto City Council voted in February to upgrade the Sunflower water plant, water department supervisor Clarence Brunk said the critical needs were the replacement of water lines from the plant to the Sunflower water towers and from the towers to 103rd Street, the installation of new electrical transmission lines and purchase of a backup generator.
Brungradt estimated the cost of the improvements Brunk identified at $1.7 million.