Funds for upsizing the water main at the Prairie Trace Development and eminent domain reimbursement for easements acquired will be funded thru Gardner’s water and sewer funds.
Prairie Trace is part of the GRATA development located at the Southwest Corner of Clare Rd and 175th. Staff’s recommendation was to upsize the proposed force main as part of the Prairie Trace Sanitary Sewer Improvements at a cost of $77,900; and to accept the court-ordered compensations and appraisal fees and authorizing payment for easements acquired through Eminent Domain in the amount of $16,650, as required to install sanitary sewer improvements for the Prairie Trace development.
In April, the Gardner City Council agreed to pay $1.5 million to Water One to provide water service to Grata Development, located at the Southwest Corner of Clare Rd and 175th. WaterOne will retain ownership of the service and collect the revenue.
Jim Pruetting, city administrator, said at the time that although the city attempted to negotiate the detachment of WaterOne so Gardner could service customers and collect revenue, they declined.
The GRATA development, which was annexed in September 2019, includes: Over 450,000 SF of retail, restaurant, convenience store and office space; 50,000 SF retail anchor tenant; approximately 200 standard-family homes; 168 compact single-family home (Prairie Trace); 424 apartments (Prairie Forge) and three hotels, according to the developer’s 2020 press release. The development agreement was approved Oct. 7, 2019.
“Gardner will benefit from the GRATA development through the expansion of our tax base,” Pruetting said in April. “The investment in water infrastructure was part of the development agreement that paved the way for us to secure a long-sought-after presence on the east side of I-35. Residents will also see increased entertainment, retail, and restaurant options coming to our city.”
Gardner’s water rates for the December 2020/January 2021 billing statements increased Feb. 1. The council approved the rate change recommended by the Utility Rate Study at the Dec. 16, 2019, meeting, adopting ordinance 2643. The 3.7 percent increase were to help fund several capital improvement projects, including the expansion of the city’s water treatment plant.