After a lengthy discussion, Leavenworth County commissioners delayed a vote on assessments for residents in the county’s Sewer District No. 3.

After a lengthy discussion, Leavenworth County commissioners delayed a vote on assessments for residents in the county’s Sewer District No. 3.

Chairman Doug Smith said Thursday that he would like to have the weekend to review information about the issue.

“I will get as much information as I can and look at it,” he said.

County commissioners also serve as the board of directors of sewer districts in the county.

Residents in Sewer District No. 3, which includes Glenwood Estates near Basehor, are charged assessments each year to pay off a $1.13 million loan that was used to pay for the transition from a lagoon system to the Basehor sewer system.

The 20-year loan is scheduled to be paid off in 2031.

County officials have proposed that property owners in the district be charged $716.45 per connection for 2018. This is the same rate that was approved last year.

Most lots also will be each assessed $284 for operation and maintenance fees requested by the city of Basehor.

Smith, who joined the County Commission earlier this year, acknowledged Thursday that residents in the sewer district are paying a lot.

“It’s crazy, and it’s for 20 years,” Larry Van Fleet said.

Van Fleet lives in Sewer District No. 3 and has complained about the fees for several years.

“I think Sewer District No. 3 needs to be completely reassessed,” he said.

Van Fleet blamed the county government for allowing the old lagoon system to be overloaded with too many connections, resulting in it being shut down by order of the state.

“I don’t understand why I’m responsible for that,” he said.

Van Fleet also argued that county officials opted for a $1.4 million plan to connect the district to the Basehor sewer system instead of a simpler plan that would have cost only $900,000.

Smith questioned whether the county, Basehor-Linwood school district and city of Basehor had each contributed $200,000 to help pay for the project.

“It didn’t happen,” Van Fleet said. “That was the plan.”

County Clerk Janet Klasinski said the school district paid $200,000 and this was applied toward the debt.

Commissioner Bob Holland said the county provided in-kind services when it decommissioned the lagoon system.

County Administrator Mark Loughry, who previously served as the city administrator for Basehor, said the city had been willing to contribute $200,000 if the area of Sewer District No. 3 was annexed into Basehor. The annexation never occurred, and the money was not paid.

For three years, the Leavenworth County Commission contributed $20,000 per year to help reduce the individual assessment fees. But the county did not make these contributions for 2016 or this year.

Van Fleet argued the payment of $20,000 per year was offered as a settlement to a lawsuit.

Interim County Counselor David Van Parys said the lawsuit was dismissed without a settlement.

Commissioner Clyde Graeber said the $20,000 contributions were voted on by the commission each year and it was not a permanent arrangement.

While no action was taken regarding Sewer District No. 3, commissioners voted Thursday to approve resolutions concerning assessments for other sewer districts in the county.

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