Graphic courtesy of Johnson County

Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
A new stormwater management program that will see the county divided into six watersheds is being implemented by Johnson County.
In a presentation to Edgerton City Council March 28, Lee Kellenberger, Johnson County water resource manager, said unlike in the past when county dollars for stormwater systems improvements would be distributed to individual cities and townships, the new program will be based on a plan that targets particular watersheds.
The six watersheds are: Brush/Turkey Creek, Indian Creek, Upper Blue Valley, Marais Des Cygnes River, Captain/Kill creek and Cedar/ Mill creek.
Edgerton, Gardner and Spring Hill will all be within the Marais Des Cygnes River watershed.
“In the past cities and communities would do projects individually with the county. Now you band together with other jurisdictions within the watershed,” he said.
The county’s watershed management program was started in 1990 after the Kansas Legislature enabled counties to adopt 1/10th of one percent sales tax to fund stormwater projects. Johnson County is the only county in the state that has established a stormwater management program under the guidelines and more than $300 million have been disbursed.
In the past the program focused on flood mitigation but will now expand its scope to include water quality issues, planning and system management.
According to Kellenberger, the new plan focuses on watershed-based outcomes that concern not only flood damage reduction but also water quality and system management.
“Funding will be allocated on a watershed basis such that the sales tax approved for funding the study, design and construction of stormwater improvements is applied without concern for See jurisdictional and political boundaries,” he said.
During the meeting the council approved the purchase of a corporate insurance policy from One Beacon, pollution liability policy from Crum an Forster and Cyber liability policy from Hiscox. The annual policies will cost the $97,000.
The county also approved the rezoning of about 200 acres from agricultural to Logistics Park zoning.