Mark Taylor
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The Edgerton City Council approved a $196,000 payment to Johnson County Parks and Recreation for purchase of property for the new sewer plant on July 12.
The property, just fewer 15 acres,  is a portion of the yet-to-be-developed Big Bull Creek Regional Park, east of Edgerton.
The purchase price includes necessary easements for the sewer plant.
The city and county had been unable to come to an agreement for the purchase price of the property, so the city pursued the property via the eminent domain process.
Beth Linn, city administrator said the district court had final say in determining fair market value for the park-owned property.
“The district court judge appointed a court appraiser to set the purchase price,” Linn said.
The council last month approved a $100 per day lease with the county parks department to allow construction to begin on time.
“The lease agreement ends” with the purchase of the property,” Linn said.
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 its 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.
Those revenue sources include property, excise, utility franchise and utility sales taxes and origination fees generated by the intermodal logistics park.