Edwardsville reviews sewer line options
Council members still uncomfortable with option running through KCK
An hour-long Edwardsville City Council work session Monday was extended to two hours as council members debated the installation of sewer lines on the city’s north end.
Information presented included a summary of the prior work on sewer service, a summary of current conditions, factors to be considered for sewer system projects, a review of possible sewer lines, potential project costs, and the availability of state and/or federal resources. While some questions presented at a previous meeting were addressed, council members didn’t agree on a course of action.
The council Nov. 9 had been asked to approve funding to move forward with a sewer line that would serve 165 acres at 110th and Riverview Avenue, which also would help a development proposed in the area. But council members Craig Crider, Margaret Shriver and Chuck Stites voted to table the issue until they could learn more about the costs of a sewer line along Betts Creek to the south, uncomfortable with the proposed northern line that would have to be partially built in Kansas City, Kan.
Stites specifically asked staff to look into state and federal funding available that could be used. But on Monday, presentations on grants offered through federal and state agencies showed that Edwardsville likely would not qualify for the grants, often because its residential income levels were too high.
Randy Gordon, contracted engineer for the city, reviewed the two options for sewer line installation. The one studied earlier this year in detail was a connection to the Unified Government’s Little Turkey Creek interceptor north of Interstate 70.
The line would require 3,600 feet of gravity sewer, but the city hopes a developer would install these lines, which in total would cost about $300,000. The city would install a pump station and drill a forcemain under the highway — Gordon said the city got confirmation that its estimates of $600 per foot for drilling should they hit rock aligned with what other contractors have found when drilling under the highway.
The line would cost $890,617, including potential costs for rock, and could be completed in about 9 months.
Gordon presented updated cost estimates for a line along Betts Creek at $7.9 million, saying it could take up to three years to complete because the city hasn’t done much of the engineering work required and the overall size of the project.
“Big picture, long term, Betts Creek makes sense,” Gordon said. “It’s a matter of when can you afford it.”
Stites said he still felt better putting the city’s money into a line that would be within the city.
“I feel like we’re setting on two of the prime locations in the county, I-70 and 110th Street and I-435 and Kansas Avenue,” he said. “(Little Turkey Creek) doesn’t help us at all at 435 and Kansas Avenue.”
However, the main Betts Creek line also wouldn’t help at Kansas Avenue — a tributary would need to be constructed at an additional cost.
Though other other city officials haven’t mentioned details about the proposed north end development, Stites referred to it as the Village South project, slated for about 27 acres in the area.
He asked if the city could build a northern portion of the Betts Creek line flowing into a holding tank, but Gordon said the state wasn’t likely to approve it and the costs of daily maintenance required would be significant.
Stites said he also thought the city should wait to see if Bonner Springs would contribute up to $2 million to connect into Edwardsville sewer lines for a project he said was to be proposed next week on 160 acres on the west side of the Bonner/Edwardsville city line.
Marcia Harrington, Bonner Springs economic development director, said Tuesday she knew of no such project.
Councilman Chuck Adams likened the dilemma to America’s effort to land on the moon. When President Kennedy announced the goal, Adams said, they didn’t immediately build a rocket to go to the moon, they first had to build a space program. He said Edwardsville should start small, with what it can afford, and with the development that comes to the city from that, it will be able to afford more in the future.
“What this seems to me is a great opportunity to put something into orbit,” he said. “The only people to benefit from us waiting three more years (to build a Betts Creek line) are the outlying cities around us.”
No official action was taken as a result of the work session. City staff will follow up with engineering consultants and elected officials to ensure all questions and concerns are addressed. The presentation made during the session is available at edwardsvilleks.org/documentcenter.
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