April 17, 2014

County to host August public hearing on Gardner Lake sewers

Gardner Lake was built in the 1930’s as the largest WPA project in Johnson County. File Photo

Mark Taylor
mtaylor@gardnernews.com
Johnson County commissioners agreed July 21 to host a public hearing on the creation of a proposed sewer district to serve Gardner Lake residents.
The hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the Sunset Drive Office Building at 11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe.
The sewer initiative proposes enlarging the Consolidated Main Sewer District and the Consolidated Lateral Sewer District and the creation of Lateral Sewer District No. 1 to serve  about 279 homes in the area.
“This is a very good step forward for Gardner Lake and for the people of Gardner Lake,” Calvin Hayden, 6th District county commissioner, said in a press release.
If approved by county commissioners, construction on the $8.4 million sewer project could begin in 2013 and be completed by 2014.
The proposed sewer district would consist of 279 homes on 84.3 acres at Gardner Lake, between 151st and 162nd streets at Gardner Road.
Homes at the lake — which was built for about $567,000 as a Works Projects Administration project in the mid- to late-1930s — are currently served by septic tanks.
The district would connect to the Kill Creek Pump Station on 159th Street.
Included in the proposed new sewer district would be new low pressure mains and grinder pumps for homeowners who choose to join the sewer district.
The $8.7 million in construction cost is expected to be paid for with $6.6 in special assessments on properties in the district and $2.1 million on the Johnson County Wastewater capital improvement funds.
A memo to commissioners noted that the project may also qualify for a State Revolving Fund Loan with a 40 percent principle forgiveness.
The principle forgiveness would apply to portions funded by the property owners and the Consolidated Main Sewer District’s capital improvement fund.
The public hearing is the latest development in the creation of a new sewer district to serve Gardner Lake.
A petition to provide sewer service to Gardner Lake was circulated and signed by 66 percent of property owners in Gardner Lake earlier this year.
The petition followed two public informational meetings held in March and April.
The Gardner News attempted to contact Gardner Lake residents for comment, but none wanted to speak on the record regarding the proposed sewer district.
However, proponents have said that sewers will increase property values and eliminate septic maintenance costs.
Opponents say current septic systems work well and there is no environmental need to spend money building new sewers in a 70-year-old lake community.

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