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Edwardsville council tables effort to install northern sewer line

Council asks for more information on alternate line, available grants

November 11, 2015

A proposal for installation of infrastructure seen as necessary for development in northern Edwardsville was put on hold Monday.

Edwardsville City Council members voted to table authorization of funding for a sewer line that would serve 165 acres north of Riverview from just west of 110th Street to just west of Interstate 435. Members voting to table said they thought it might be better to put the city’s funding into a sewer line to the south and wanted to see what federal funds might be available to assist the city.

Council members Craig Crider and Chuck Stites also said the proposed plan did not provide sewer lines for enough property owners. The proposed plan would run a sewer line under Interstate 70 to connect with the Unified Government’s Little Turkey Creek Interceptor at the northwest corner of I-70 and I-435. They said they had doubts that the proposed plan wouldn’t run into rock, increasing the cost.

City staff presented a history of the city’s efforts to put sewer lines in the northern portion of the city at the council’s Oct. 26 meeting. The city first hired an engineering firm to identify sanitary sewer basins in 2008. In 2011, the city asked another firm, BHC Rhodes, to update the study, calculate potential flows and prepare preliminary designs.

Findings submitted in 2012 and then updated in 2014 showed that creating a sewer line flowing south from 1,000 feet north of Kansas Highway 32 in the Betts Creek basin would serve most of the northern area but would cost at least $6,637,000.

An alternate option was to create a connection to the UG’s Little Turkey Creek Interceptor, or LTC, for a total cost of $2,312,000.

Minutes of the Oct. 26 meting show that council members Chuck Adams and Jason Gillam were the only ones to speak and expressed support for the lesser costs of the LTC. Mayor John McTaggart directed staff to move forward with that, and the council Monday was to consider authorizing funding for the project and a contract with BHC Rhodes for a final design.

But on Monday, Stites made a motion tabling the item until city staff better determined the total costs for a Betts Creek line and determined if federal or state grants might be available to help fund it.

“I’m trying to make sure that we spend our dollars going in the right direction, and it seems to me that Betts Creek is the right direction,” Stites said. “I want to know that we have done all that we can before we abandon that system for going up north.”

Though McTaggart warned that the move would be a bad signal to a potential developer considering the northern property for a project, Crider and Margaret Shriver voted in support of Stites’ motion.

Crider said he thought the city should be investing in a line that served the most property owners, and he noted that the LTC would not serve properties on Kansas Avenue and 102nd Street, which are the next streets set for major improvements.

Both Crider and Stites said they had done research that led them to believe the city would hit rock running a sewer line under I-70, increasing its costs, though Michael Webb, city manager, said multiple borings were done in the area to check for rock.

Adams and Gillam both stated they were upset with the motion.

“This is pretty disappointing in that the north end is once again on hold,” Adams said.

Gillam said he didn’t think it was feasible at this time for the city to build a Betts Creek line.

“(The LTC) is more of a what can we afford as a citizenry to get (northern development) started,” Gillam said, adding that he was skeptical that there would be a “magic funding source” that could fund the Betts Creek line.

In other business, the council approved a rezoning in an issue that was tabled at its first October meeting, but not for the two property owners who protested the rezoning.

The planning commission recommended rezoning from light industrial to commercial for five properties along K-32/Kaw Drive to align with the city’s future land-use plan. However, Ray and Chris Bush and Vicki Bush protested the rezoning for property currently used for Bush Farm, and the council approved allowing their properties to maintain light industrial zoning.

Originally published at: http://www.bonnersprings.com/news/2015/nov/11/edwardsville-council-tables-effort-install-norther/