Archive for Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rec center sewer issue to be resolved

October 12, 2006

The Eudora Recreation and Aquatic Center construction schedule might have hit a delay Monday night if not for the Eudora City Council's decision to go ahead with sewer improvements near the site.

The decision to support the $117,200 project wasn't unanimous. It took a tie-breaking vote from Mayor Tom Pyle to break a deadlock on the council that pitted Bill Whitten and Scott Hopson against Councilman Dan Gregg and Lori Fritzel. Councilman Kevin Miller was absent.

Architect Jay Zimmerschied of BG Consultants brought the issue to the council.

While draining the pool, it was leaned the sewer system downstream of the center couldn't handle the discharge from the pool.

"The pool currently has to be drained at a slow rate because of the sanitary sewer," Zimmerschied said.

The slow drain rate prevented sewage from backing up into two houses located at the southwest corner of 16th and Elm streets.

Zimmerscheid presented two options to correct the problem.

The first option would reconstruct approximately 1,020 feet of the current 6-inch sewer line with a larger diameter and slope and discharge in the new sanitary sewer in the 16th Street subdivision.

"Option one would take care of some problems we have in the existing sewer, not only with the swimming pool, but with some residential houses that are attached to that line, due to the fact that their line is shallow," City electrical superintendent Eldon Brown said.

The shallow line causes backups during downpours, Brown said.

"There's really nothing other than lowering the line that will take care of the problem," Brown said.

The second option would have cost the city more than $30,000 less but would not have fixed the other ongoing

issue with the system.

With the second option, the city would have constructed about 650 feet of new sewer south through the park and west along the ball field. The new sewer would have eventually connected to new sewer system on Lakeview Lane.

"If we were only consider this as a pool project, we'd go with option two, but Eldon asked Jay to go around to see if we can solve two problems with one project," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

If the council decided to go with option two, the $3.8 million bond could have paid for it.

With option one, the city would be forced to another funding source.

"I wouldn't recommend you charge it all to the pool because that would be a misuse of the bond funds because it's not all for the pool," Beatty said.

After Zimmerschied presented the options, Fritzel and Gregg supported the first choice.

"I say we fix the problem," Gregg said.

Whitten, however, said the options should be further explored and the council should consider the consequences of spending the money on the project.

"What project are we putting the axe to to fund this?" Whitten asked.

In response to Hopson's questioning if the two projects could be done more efficiently separately, Zimmerschied said he didn't figure the projects separately but didn't think that would be the case.

By looking into more options, the pool's tight construction timeline could falter, Zimmerschied said. If a third option was studied and presented to the council, BG Consultants would have less than seven days to finish conceptual drawings according to the current construction timeline, he said.

Still, Hopson wanted to cover all bases.

"It's not that I'm opposed to this option, it's just that I'd like to try and save money," Hopson said

They were overridden by Fritzel, Gregg and the mayor.

With Hopson and Whitten dissenting, it came down to Pyle to make the final decision.

"I think it benefits the city, so I'll vote for the motion," Pyle said.

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