Archive for Thursday, December 17, 2009

Council at an impasse with Honey Bee Septic

December 17, 2009

The Eudora City Council is moving cautiously in its decision to allow the construction of a septic service facility.

At Monday’s meeting, the council discussed an industrial sewer permit for Honey Bee Septic Service owner Richard Hird, who has proposed a facility be built at 426 W. Seventh St. adjacent to Eudora’s wastewater treatment plant.

It would serve as a pretreatment plant for sludge removed from residential septic tanks and grease removed from commercial septic tanks.

City administrator John Harrenstein said the council was concerned with possible odor, truck traffic through downtown, harm that could be done to the wastewater treatment plant and revenue that could be gained by allowing the facility to be built.

Though truck traffic likely could be mitigated, Harrenstein said the disposal of grease could pose a possibility for an odor from the facility.

As a result, Harrenstein suggested a permit only for the disposal of domestic waste but not commercial grease disposal.

Hird told the council that if he couldn’t get a permit for the disposal of grease, he wouldn’t be able to afford the construction of the facility.

Members of the council and Mayor Scott Hopson talked at length with Hird about his business and noted that they hated to turn away any merchant who wanted to bring business to Eudora. However, various unknowns and the risk the plant could pose to the wastewater treatment plant weren’t worth the $1,200 to $2,200 the facility would generate in annual revenue for the city.

The decision didn’t mean that Hird won't build the facility, as both sides agreed to further research the issue of grease disposal and will discuss the proposal at a future meeting.

In other actions, the council:

• Set a public hearing for an amendment to the 2009 budget.

Harrenstein proposed a budget transfer of $442,850 from the electric utility fund.

The bulk of the transfer, $346,100, would go to the water fund. Of those funds, $30,000 would be used for wage increases, $140,000 would be used for the city’s lawsuit with Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4 and $176,100 would be used for capital outlay.

The capital improvement fund would receive $95,000 and $1,750 would go to the water and sewer bond.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 at Eudora City Hall.

• Approved the purchase of two Pre Cor elliptical trainers, at a total cost of $7,700, for the Eudora Community Center’s fitness room.

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