Archive for Thursday, October 22, 2009

City engineer continues to brief potential water customers

October 22, 2009

Although the feasibility study on the use of the Sunflower water plant is not yet completed, De Soto continues to approach potential water partners or customers.

City engineer Mike Brungardt told the De Soto City Council last Thursday he would meet with the mayor and city administrator of Baldwin about supplying that city with water from the Sunflower plant. The meeting comes after Brungardt gave a similar presentation at a meeting of Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4 last week.

Brungardt said he gave the Baldwin city administrator a copy of the draft feasibility study. He would stress De Soto was serious about securing partners at the Sunflower plant, he said.

The city engineer said he would present the feasibility study’s final draft to the council the first week in November and review its findings at the Nov. 5 council meeting.

A Kansas Department of Health and Environment grant paid for half the $50,000 feasibility study and potential wholesale water cooperative members De Soto, the city of Gardner and Johnson County Rural Water District Nos. 6 and 7 split the other half.

De Soto started looking for partners to run and upgrade the Sunflower plant after the city council decided in January it would be the city’s water source.

The council approved the first of the expenses for the water plant’s upgrade last Thursday with an agreement of a contract with Larkin Engineer to do the design and engineering for the first phase of improvements at Sunflower. The fee not to exceed $125,000 was negotiated in the last month after the council selected Larkin for the work.

The engineering will include new electrical lines to the water plant, a new water distribution line from the plant and a back-up electrical generator.

City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said Larkin’s work would allow any future wholesale cooperative to “hit the ground running” with plant improvements.

Tony O’Malley of Larkin said should a wholesale water district be formed, other members would buy in by reimbursing the city for the expense of the study and other improvements the city has made at the plant in the past decade.

Before approving the contract amount, the council also approved a resolution to make and pay for improvements at the Sunflower plant. Guilfoyle said the resolution would allow the city to recoup temporary spending measures, which will start with a loan from the city’s electrical utility fund, from bonds that will ultimately be issued for the engineering and improvements

In other action, the council:

• Acted on the De Soto Planning Commission’s recommendation and approved a rural zoning classification. Its passage ended a 14-month effort to put in place a rural zoning classification that stemmed from complications regulating properties brought into the city in the large 1999 annexation.

• Approved Don Oxley’s request to waive water and sewer system development fees to his repair shop at 8210 Cherokee Street.

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