Mark Taylor
The Gardner and Edgerton city councils will hold a joint dedication for the new Big Bull Creek Wastewater Facility on July 17.
The groundbreaking will take place at 8:30 a.m.
The Edgerton City Council approved a lease agreement June 21 with Johnson County Parks and Recreation for property for the new sewer plant.
According to Beth Linn, city administrator, the city intends to acquire the property through the eminent domain process but needed to secure the lease to ensure that construction stays on time.
The sewer plant is being dedicated despite the fact that the city of Edgerton and the county have been unable unable to come to an agreement on a purchase price for the property.
“We are in the process of condemnation, but we need to start construction immediately,” Linn told The Gardner News last week. “We need the lease so that we can enter the property.”
The lease requires the city to pay the county $100 per day for use of the property, located in the Big Bull Creek Park area.
The city is also responsible for maintaining and insuring the property.
Johnson County voters approved a $6 million bond issue in 1998 to purchase the 1,400-acre Big Bull Creek regional park, but it remains undeveloped 14 years later.
The county also purchased the adjacent Mildale Farm property that is leased on the weekends for wedding receptions and other private events.
However, the Big Bull Creek property remains closed to the public that is paying taxes for it.
The Edgerton City Council earlier this year approved an agreement to partner with the city of Gardner in the construction of the new sewer treatment plant on the property.
The plant will be owned by Edgerton and provide wholesale service to Gardner.
Edgerton had been planning to build a half-size treatment plant to serve the intermodal logistics park and add capacity for future growth.
Gardner then agreed to pay for additional capacity at the plant to delay having to expand it’s Kill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The intermodal logistics park is expected to open in late 2013.
According to the agreement, Edgerton will construct a pipeline and a lift station to serve the intermodal logistics park and the city.
Gardner will construct a lift station near 191st Street and Waverly Road, as well as a gravity sewer to provide immediate flow, and a force main.
Edgerton will retain ownership and operation of the plant and it’s pipeline, although Gardner will participate as a 50 percent partner in funding the construction and land acquisition for the new plant.
Either city may propose a future expansion to the plant.
Before Gardner agreed to participate in the project, Edgerton was looking to finance the $11.9 project on its own.
The agreement with Gardner doubles the size of the plant from 250,000 gallons per day to 500,000 gallons per day and saves Edgerton about $2.4 million.
Gardner’s cost will be $8.7 to $9.7 depending upon unknown subsurface conditions and depth of sewer construction.
Gardner will be required to generate 90,000 gallons of sewage per day to maintain it’s part of the agreement.
That amount is expected to eventually reach 150,000 gallons per day.
Within 60 days of the plant being substantially complete, Edgerton and Gardner will each be required to contribute $50,000 to a major maintenance fund for future repair needs.
The Edgerton City Council in 2009 approved a public infrastructure finance agreement with BNSF and the Allen Group that specifies financing for $46 million to $53 million in road and utility infrastructure to support the development.
Various revenue sources from the development are to be placed into a public infrastructure plan that is expected to fund projects in six stages and pay off debt obligations over time.