Kirk Keller, battalion chief of Johnson County Fire District No. 1 brought one of three new fire trucks the district has put in service to show to everyone attending the Edgerton city council meeting on June 9. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz

Special to The Gardner News
In the June 9 meeting, Edgerton city council continued discussion of a contract proposal for a new wastewater pump station project. It was again tabled for two more weeks. There were a number of other items on the agenda, including a permit denial, a new street sweeper and a look at a new fire truck.
At the previous meeting in May, council requested that Burns and McDonnell provide more detail and explore possible options to reduce the design build project’s stipulated price of $2,787,950.
The design build team responded at this meeting with a modified proposal that offered potential cost reduction of $87,000.
To achieve this savings, the relocation of the current storage building from one spot on the property to another has been changed from a fixed estimate to an allowance item. Allowance items are charged at actual cost.
There is an option for a simplified HVAC system in the underground space housing pump station equipment. The revision uses smaller fans, less duct work and meets minimum standards. Without ventilation, the space could be unsafe for employees who enter it for inspections, service and repair.
Council members Cindy Crooks and Charlie Troutner made comments indicating they did not want to compromise safety and indicated favor for reverting to the original plan for HVAC ventilation.
Installation of one manhole was removed from the plan. That manhole was being placed for future connections and was not critical to the current project function.
Another modification was downgrading from variable frequency drives (VFD) to ‘soft starts’. VFD’s can speed up or slow down the pump while soft starts run at one speed only. Council was told that VFD’s are more expensive at the start but save in operational costs over the long term. Downgrading this equipment saves about $31,000 in immediate costs.
The Burns and McDonnell representative said the team was communicating with Kansas Department of Environment and Health (KDHE) to determine if less expensive material can be used to fill the ten foot deep oxidation ditch.
In addition to priced items, certain other parts of the contract have been under negotiation for some time. These items are related to what Patrick Reavey, city attorney, tonight described as “limitation of liability.” These contract items were compared to a warranty on a new car. The contractor and city attorney are in some disagreement over how the contractor’s liability is defined.
A motion was made to table consideration of the pump station project and take it up again at the June 23 meeting.
Motion carried with a 4-0 vote. Clay Longanecker, council member, was absent.
SWJCEDC and Chamber of Commerce
Despite being on crutches with a foot injury, Greg Martinette, president of Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation (SWJCEDC) appeared to address the council, followed by Jason Camis, president of Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce.
Both organizations were there to invite council to renew their membership contribution.
Martinette said he couldn’t name the company yet, but a lease had been signed that will bring a new business to the area that will offer 310 full time jobs. Unlike the majority of the new business relocating here, this one will not be a warehouse distribution operation but a manufacturing business. Martinette said the company will be producing small to medium size aerospace parts and the average salary would be around $52,000.
Camis explained the levels of membership with the chamber and offered opportunity to participate in the publishing of a map and magazine.
Crooks suggested raising the amount above previous years. For the past three years, both Edgerton and Gardner have been paying $35,000 annually to SWJCEDC. Crooks wanted to see if a figure of $45-50,000 was “doable in the budget.”.
Beth Linn, city administrator, replied, “Certainly we can take that 45-50 range and plug it in and see where it might fit best… obviously our hope then would be opportunity to reach out to Gardner to match that at least.”
No action was taken.
Bonds: one resolution and two ordinances
Council moved through the following three items quickly.
Resolution No. 06-09-16A consents to assignment of leases and bond documents related to a 2013 project to develop a 500,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution facility. Flexsteel Industries, Inc. acquired the project in 2014. The project is now being transferred from Eagle Exchange Company, LLC to Flexsteel, and that requires consent from the city.
Crooks made a motion to approve, motion carried 4-0.
Ordinance No. 1017 authorizes the city to issue industrial revenue bonds of up to $19,000,000 for the Transpec Leasing Incorporated LLC project, which will be the development a 478,000 sq. ft. surface container lot, new shop and security buildings.
Motion to approve Ordinance 1017 carried 4-0.
Ordinance No. 1018 authorizes the issuance of industrial revenue bonds of up to $8,000,000 for the CY Edgerton LLC project. This will be another surface container lot. Improvements will be made to buildings currently on the site.
Motion to approve ordinance 1018 carried 4-0.
Special event permit denied
For several years, local club Tornado Alley Hundesport has used the soccer fields at Martin Creek Park to host dog training practices and competitions. This year the city required the club file an application for a special event permit.
Staff noted that this event violates city ordinances recently adopted by this council, including a new leash ordinance.
The issue that unified council vote for denial was the applicant’s lack of event insurance. It was noted that all other groups hosting special events do carry insurance as required.
Don Roberts, mayor, didn’t think exceptions should be made, and governing body should be consistent.
“The fact is they don’t have insurance. The bottom line… do we require insurance or not? “Yes we do’” said Troutner.
Crooks made a motion for denial, seconded by Troutner and carried 4-0.
Playground equipment condemned
Tegan Meadors, parks and recreation coordinator, recently completed training courses to become certified as a playground safety inspector.
A playground safety audit was conducted at all Edgerton city parks on May 31. The audit found 15 hazards that may pose risk to users, all on two pieces of equipment in Glendall Acres Park – a metal slide and a wooden play structure. Both items were temporarily closed by staff, awaiting council direction.
Staff recommended permanent removal. Council agreed with a 4-0 vote.
New street sweeper
Edgerton’s Public Works department currently has a 1992 model street sweeper that is at end of life. After evaluating replacement equipment, staff recommended that council approve a five year lease purchase of a 2016 Elgin Broom Badger for $187,446.14.
Council approved the purchase 4-0.
New fire truck
At the very start of the meeting Roberts introduced Kirk Keller, battalion chief, of Johnson County Fire District No. 1 and announced the arrival of three new fire trucks to the district. The Edgerton fire station will be home for one of those new trucks, and Keller had it sitting in front of city hall.
Roberts declared a 15 minute recess for all to go outside and a look.