During last year’s budget process improvements and construction to Gardner Lake Dam, I-35/Gardner Rd. construction and Waverly from 175th to Madison were included.
Some of those projects are in process and some postponed. Two items originally budgeted for 2020 have been placed on hold.
Wired city/entrepreneurial ecosystem
Innovation – “wired city” and “entrepreneurial ecosystem” did not develop plans or solicit proposals from qualified firms in 2019, according to Matt Wollf, Gardner finance director.
“The RFP for the “wired city” is on hold,” Wolff said. “The city has decided not to pursue the entrepreneurial ecosystem at this time. There was $37,500 budgeted in 2019 and 2020 for the entrepreneurial ecosystem. No funds have been spent.”
Gardner Lake Downstream Channel Improvements (spillway)
The Gardner Lake Downstream Channel Improvements (spillway) was evaluated in 2018. The design work and construction award was moved from 2018 to 2019. The anticipated costs for the spillway improvements were approximately $766,000, last year.
There are currently no funds available for the Gardner Lake Spillway project, which has an estimated project cost of about $766,000, said Michael Kramer, Gardner public works director. “Recently, the city listed it as one of its unfunded Capital Improvement Projects.“
If the city can secure funding in the form of grants and economic conditions improve to allow the city to contribute to the funding, the repairs will move forward, he said. The design of the spillway repair project is complete, and the plans have been submitted to the Kansas Department of Agriculture for review and permitting. However, due to the lack of funding, the permitting process is on hold until at least March 1, 2021.
The city continues to look for funding opportunities for the Gardner Lake spillway project
“However, the county’s System Replacement Funding match for the spillway project was cut due to projected revenue shortfalls associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kramer said. The funding source may be available in future budget cycles.
“We are working on preserving and improving Gardner Lake, “ Kramer said.” However, the city must be mindful of how our resident’s tax dollars are spent, especially given the reality of decreased general fund revenues in the current economic climate. The city will continue to provide routine maintenance to the lake and identify funding sources to address the more significant needs. The opportunity for the city, Johnson County, and lake residents to partner on some level of financing for lake projects may also be a viable alternative at a future date.”
Gardner Lake was built in 1937. The Gardner Lake Dam classification was changed from significant hazard (Class B) to high hazard (Class C) in 2013. An inspection in 2015 identified failures along the length of the spillway and concluded the spillway needs to be replaced to ensure the integrity of the dam.
Update on Gardner Rd. and I-35 Interchange
The first phase of construction improvements was anticipated to start in 2020, according to last year’s budget process. The total project cost increased due to changes in the scope of improvements from approximately $4M to $6M, but the increase was to be offset by an additional $2M in economic development funding from KDOT.
Phase I of the I-35 and Gardner Rd project was Locust Street 191st Street to Gardner Road.
“The funding for the project is through the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) STP funding and includes Federal Aid,” Kramer said. As such, the project bid letting and construction is required through KDOT processes. The final plan review is now complete by KDOT.
“The KDOT schedule shows the project will advertise mid-August 2020 for a mid-September 2020 letting,” Kramer said. “Weather permitting, we anticipate the contractor will start construction in October 2020. Our consultant anticipates a 10-month construction schedule, pending weather/winter shutdown. Utility relocations for the project including Evergy and telecommunications providers are proceeding (at their expense) and scheduled to be completed by mid-August.”
Update on Waverly from 175th to Madison
Last year construction of the improvements at Waverly from 175th to Madison were moved from 2019 to 2020.
“Affinis Corporation, our professional engineering design consultant for the project, has further investigated the Waverly and Madison intersection concepts and analyzed levels of service (LOS) for several different scenarios and design alternatives,” Kramer said. “ Project representatives will present a summary of their findings and discuss the next steps for the project at the July 20 City Council regular meeting.”