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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Lansing council OKs system improvements

  • The Lansing City Council approved Thursday moving forward with designing the alignment for an improved sewer system in the Seven-Mile Creek watershed. However, the council pulled several related items off the agenda because of the way companies were chosen.The approved action authorizes staff and the consultant, Georg...
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    • In other action Thursday, the City Council:
      • Approved a contract with Aerial FX to provide fireworks displays May 2 for Lansing DAZE and June 27 for the city's Fourth of July celebration. The cost is $22,000. The fireworks were discus...
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      In other action Thursday, the City Council:
      • Approved a contract with Aerial FX to provide fireworks displays May 2 for Lansing DAZE and June 27 for the city's Fourth of July celebration. The cost is $22,000. The fireworks were discussed at a work session in late 2012, but no action could be taken. The city can't enter a contract before the fiscal year, when funds will be spent.

      • Approved a resolution changing the city boundary resulting from the annexation of the new Lansing High School property.
  • The Lansing City Council approved Thursday moving forward with designing the alignment for an improved sewer system in the Seven-Mile Creek watershed. However, the council pulled several related items off the agenda because of the way companies were chosen. The approved action authorizes staff and the consultant, George Butler and Associates, to proceed with design and engineering services for a project discussed at length at last week's work session. The Seven-Mile Creek Action Plan had been submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment last year, but the council had to get a four-month extension because the first two phases had not been designed by the end of the year deadline. Instead, said Tony Zell, wastewater treatment director, the decision had been to design all three phases at the same time. Council members had agreed with staff's recommendation to do a combination of removing and replacing some sewer lines that have inadequate capacity now, and making the new lines run parallel to the old ones in some cases. The scenario staff recommended provides for growth up to 2,200 additional acres outside city limits. The original motion included a cost estimate of $5.8 million for construction. However, Lansing Mayor Billy Blackwell said the motion did not bind the council to that cost or to construction. Rather, it provided for engineering services. Because several council members expressed concern they were committing themselves to the cost and a strict timetable, Blackwell suggested leaving the estimated construction cost out of the motion. At that point, the new motion was unanimously approved. He said council members would have a chance in several months to make additional decisions. But, three related motions were ultimately voted off the agenda and city staff will have to start the process over on selecting companies to provide services. The first one was to provide a sanitary sewer master plan, another was to approve a contract for easement acquisition services for the Seven-Mile Creek Action Plan, and the third was to approve a contract for easement acquisition services for the 9B interceptor project. Council member Tony McNeill started discussion on the first motion, noting that the issue had been raised before that the committee process to pick a service provider was not part of the city's existing policy. He said he'd looked at several other cities and the process the city has often used seems acceptable, but he wanted a detailed manual of how it works included in the policy. Council members have asked that this be the topic of a work session, and it had tentatively been on the agenda for a work session later this month. Council member Gregg Buehler said he couldn't approve the motion because it appeared no process had been followed at all, which he said looks bad. Council member Jesse Garvey compared it to going back to the same car dealer or mechanic if you'd been satisfied with the work they did before and trusted them. Ultimately, council members split 4-4 as to whether to approve the motion, and the mayor had to break the tie, which he did by voting no. Since the next two motions were similar as to how the services were acquired, they will have to go through a new process, council members decided. Council members did OK another request, purchasing upgrades to the wastewater department information technology system. Council member Andi Pawlowski voted no, because she said it seemed too much like the other motions. However, McNeill said he saw it as a single source issue because the city already has service contracts with the two companies in the two bids. The other six members also voted to approve a bid with RE Pendrotti for SCADA system upgrades at a cost not to exceed about $80,500. The other bid was with NjJTech for the public server and telephone system upgrade not to exceed about $18,200.

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