Mark Taylor
[email protected]
The Johnson County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 6 approved a second extension to the agreement between Gardner and Johnson County to provide water to the county-owned New Cenury AirCenter (NCAC).
According to a memo to the board from Lee Metcalfe, executive director of the Johnson County Airport Commission, Gardner and Johnson County officials first signed an agreement for Gardner to provide treated water to the industrial development.
Gardner has sold water to the county for NCAC since 1992.
The original agreement expired in 2007, although both entities continued to operate under the original terms of the agreement.
An extension to July, 2011 was approved in 2009 while NCAC explored other options for purchasing water with neighboring water districts.
The latest extension would take the agreement to the end of 2011 while a new agreement (to take effect in January, 2012) is negotiated.
NCAC also purchases treated water from Olathe.
Metcalfe said it would be in the best interest of NCAC to maintain two water sources for backup and for competitive pricing.
“By extending the 1992 agreement until the end of 2011, NCAC will be enabled to continue to enjoy an excellent and mutually beneficial relationship with Gardner in the provision of domestic water for NCAC while negotiating a new agreement,” Metcalfe’s memo read. “While NCAC also purchases water from the city of Olathe, the Airport Commission believes it is important to maintain two independent sources of water for both redundancy in a very critical system and for competitive reasons.
“Gardner’s water rates are below Olathe’s and will enable the NCAC to manage water purchases for the best economic impact.”
Metcalfe said the only “viable alternative” to extending the agreement with Gardner would be to end the agreement and stop purchasing water from Gardner.
“This would leave NCAC dependent on a single source of water…which we do not believe is in the best interests of NCAC and its resident businesses and government facilities.”
The agreement includes a water range from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31 of $2.50 per 1,000 gallons of treated water.