future water costs
to KC system planned for November
Concerns about the future cost of water in the small
northern Platte County town were a hot item for the Dearborn
Board of Aldermen Monday night.
Dearborn has an agreement with the City of Kansas City
under which Kansas City will bring a water line to Dearborn
at a cost of just over $700,000.
Dearborn will encounter other costs, including about
$45,000 for a vault, which is a specially designed pit
with a meter in place to read usage where the Kansas City
line meets the main Dearborn water line. There will be
an automatic shutoff system in the vault, which will stop
the water flow when the Dearborn tower is full.
Dearborn will also incur the costs of running about 1,000
feet of 8" water line to connect its system to the
Kansas City line.
Kansas City has agreed to finance the $700,000 in cost
of running the line to Dearborn over a period of 20 years
The monthly payment for that portion is roughly $4,500.
Cost of water used by the city will be over and above
that. Landes estimates the city's total payment to Kansas
City for the cost of the line and water purchased will
run about $7,300 per month.
"We need to get our lines in so we can shut down
our current water plant. The savings we'll have on operating
expenses will take care of a bunch of the cost,"
for the new service with Kansas City, Landes said.
Kansas City will start charging its monthly payment to
Dearborn in November, so Dearborn obviously wants to be
ready to have the service connected to the Kansas City
line by then so it can shut down its current plant and
put the savings toward the new system.
Landes said the city is also checking into the possibility
of getting a grant to help cover the cost.
"Any grant we get we can apply to the Kansas City
project without any penalty," Landes said.
"We haven't discussed water rates yet. When we do,
new rates will have to be approved by the government agency
that financed the old water system, which lacks about
10 years of being paid off," Landes said.
Lila Scrivener, member of the board of aldermen, assured
those in attendance the city will try to keep costs to
residents as low as possible.
"Our main goal is we're trying hard to get (any
increase) at a minimum for residents," she told a
crowd of about 12-15 people sitting in on Monday night's
Scrivener said the decision to hook on with Kansas City,
which was made by a previous mayor/council, was the right
"It's going to be less expensive than upgrading
our current system would have been," she explained.
Landes said the Missouri Department of Natural Resources
had advised the city options for the old plant included
shutting it down or spending about $3 million to bring
it up to standards. He said that made the decision to
hook on with Kansas City an easy one.
Gary Bomar, resident, asked for assurance that the board
will seek to cut expenses where possible in an effort
to keep rates as low as possible. He later specified he
was referring to labor costs.
City officials said employees are aware hours/positions
will be cut when the connection is made. They acknowledged
the new system will not require nearly as many man hours
as the old one.
"There will be a cut in labor. We see it as a plan.
The employees all understand that," Scrivener said.
It was reported the city at present is paying for about
180 man hours for water employees per two-week pay period.
Bomar said he feels one area of potential savings is
to look at deferred compensation plans being given to
employees. It was reported one employee is receiving roughly
$700 in deferred compensation after he found less expensive
insurance than the city's plan.
Bomar said he was on the board at the time that decision
was made, but he felt the plan was only intended to be
temporary. The employee has been receiving that monthly
compensation for several years.
In other business at Monday night's meeting:
The board discussed asking Buchanan County to de-annex
the ground on which the Dearborn city park sits. Platte
County has park funds that could go to Dearborn if the
park become part of Platte County. "We're so far
south that Buchanan County forgets about us," Landes
Heard that the city's total assessed valuation
is roughly $3.6 million. It was mentioned the city needs
to be sure to forward its list of approved building permits
to the county so that property improvements can get on
the tax roll and help increase the assessed valuation.