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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Water rates to increase 2 percent

  • The Leavenworth Water Department will raise water rates by 2 percent for the upcoming year, it was announced Wednesday.
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    • Water Department purchases land
      The Leavenworth Water Department is purchasing 32.2 acres of land in Lansing.

      The department is purchasing the land located at 779 N. Highway 5 for $265,000. The purchase was approved Tuesda...
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      Water Department purchases land
      The Leavenworth Water Department is purchasing 32.2 acres of land in Lansing.

      The department is purchasing the land located at 779 N. Highway 5 for $265,000. The purchase was approved Tuesday night by the Leavenworth City Commission.

      Even though the property is being bought by the Water Department, state law requires that the land be held in the city's name, according to Water Department General Manager John Kaufman.

      He said the closing of the deal likely will occur later this month or early November.

      Kaufman said the land is located near one of the department's plants. He said the department plans to use the property, in part, as a repository for lime residual from a treatment process to soften water.

      Kaufman said the lime residual currently is placed in ponds. But the substance has to be excavated every year and hauled away. It ultimately ends up being used on agricultural land.

      He said there's a cost associated with the excavation and hauling of the substance. The new land can used for permanent disposal of the substance, which will be placed in trenches and covered with top soil.

      Kaufman said the Water Department still will have to go through a state permit process in order use the land for this purpose. He said there's already been preliminary discussion with the state.

      “We just have to do the engineering at this point,” he said.

      Kaufman said the property can be used for this purpose for many years, and it should save the Water Department money.

      “It all helps cut our operating cost,” he said.

      He said the department also will be able to utilize a storage facility on the property. This will save the department from having to build a storage unit for equipment.

      There's also a house on the property. Kaufman said Water Department officials have not yet determined what they will do with this structure.

      The Water Department announced Wednesday there will be a 2 percent increase in water rates next year, but Kaufman said this is not the result of the land purchase.

      He said money already had been set aside for the purchase. And officials are expecting the land acquisition to save the department money in the future.
  • The Leavenworth Water Department will raise water rates by 2 percent for the upcoming year, it was announced Wednesday.
    The rate increase will apply to Leavenworth residents as well as wholesale customers, which General Manager John Kaufman described as rural water districts.
    The new rates will take effect Jan. 1, and Kaufman said customers will notice the change on the bills they receive that month. Other fees and charges will remain the same as in 2012.
    Increased operating costs are cited as the reason for the rate increase. Kaufman said the Water Department is facing increased costs in areas such as electricity and chemicals.
    Kaufman said a typical family in Leavenworth uses about six units of water each month. Each unit is equal to 748 gallons or 100 cubic feet of water.
    For the typical six units of water, the monthly increase will be 52 cents, raising the water bill from $26.66 to $27.18.
    The Leavenworth Water Department is not part of the city government. But fees for the city's sewer service and trash collection are included in the monthly bill Leavenworth residents receive from the Water Department.
    The 2 percent increase will apply only to the water service portion of the combined bill. The new rates for 2013 exclude applicable State Water Plan, city and state taxes.
    Tuesday, the Leavenworth City Commission approved a 25 percent increase for sewer service. This increase also will appear on the combined bill sent from the Water Department.
    The 25 percent increase will raise the minimum fee for the city's sewer service from $19.63 to $22.68.
    That rate increase is scheduled to take effect in time for December bills.
    The Water Department is purchasing 32.2 acres of land in Lansing for $265,000, but Kaufman said the rate increase is not the result of the land purchase.
    He said money already had been set aside for the purchase. And officials are expecting the land acquisition to save the department money in the future.
    The Water Department's schedule of rates, fees and charges are posted on the department's website at www.lvnwater.com. For other information about the Water Department, customers should visit the website or call the Water Department at 913-682-1513.
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