Leavenworth county commissioners voted Monday to contribute $10,000 to reduce assessments for residents of Sewer District No. 3 for the coming year.

Leavenworth county commissioners voted Monday to contribute $10,000 to reduce assessments for residents of Sewer District No. 3 for the coming year.

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.

Without the $10,000 contribution from the county, property owners in the district would be charged $716.45 per connection for 2018 for their share of the debt service.

County Clerk Janet Klasinski said the $10,000 contribution should reduce each assessment fee by about $100.

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

Commissioners voted 2-0 Monday to approve the $10,000 contribution. Commissioner Bob Holland was absent.

Because the assessments will be changed, the County Commission will need to conduct a public hearing on the issue, and the affected property owners will have to be notified, Interim County Counselor David Van Parys said.

Commissioners discussed the assessments for Sewer District No. 3 last week. But Commission Chairman Doug Smith, who joined the commission earlier this year, requested more time to study the issue.

Smith said Monday he had reviewed information regarding the issue. Smith said he saw many references to discussions about the county government, city of Basehor and Basehor-Linwood school district each contributing $200,000 for the project.

The school district contributed $200,000.

The county government did not pay $200,000. However, the county provided $48,000 worth of in-kind services when the old lagoon system was decommissioned. For three years, the county also paid $20,000 each year to help reduce the assessments for residents of the sewer district.

Smith said this means the county has provided a total of $108,000 in funding and services.

The city of Basehor did not contribute $200,000 to the project.

County Administrator Mark Loughry previously served as the city administrator for Basehor.

He said the city planned to contribute $200,000 if the sewer district was annexed into Basehor. The annexation never took place.

He said city officials also had expressed hesitation to pay the $200,000 because the county’s only contribution at the time was the $48,000 worth of services.

Smith said if the county commission committed to paying $200,000, it should honor it.

While a $10,000 contribution was approved for next year, Smith said the current commissioners cannot bind the commission to make similar payments in the future.

“We can only do it year-by-year,” he said.

Larry Van Fleet, a resident of Sewer District No. 1, argued the county should redo the way the assessments are calculated. He said it is fine for the county to put in money now. But he questioned what will happen if commissioners do not want to contribute in the future.

Smith said he supports looking at the issue in the future.

“Right now, Mr. Van Fleet, we’re up against a budget deadline,” Smith said.

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