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Developer, city have words over Plaza pump station
Mayor to project manager: 'Your head's on the block'
by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

Exactly how long has the pump station at Platte Valley Plaza not been working correctly?
It's obviously a point of disagreement, because developer Bill Mann and the people at Platte City City Hall have different answers to the question.

According to City Administrator Keith Moody, the pump station has had problems since it was first installed six years ago.

"We haven’t accepted that piece of infrastructure because our position is that it’s never operated correctly,” said Moody.

“Our records show that when Public Works Director Frank Mabry was here (about two years ago) and prior Public Works Director Harry Parsi was here, that the operation of the facility wasn’t as designed. The pumps were bypassing then.”

The Landmark contacted Public Works Director Leonard Hendricks to obtain the documentation on the pump station prior to his tenure and Mabry’s. Hendricks stated he would locate the documentation and research the city’s records regarding the station and report his findings later in the week.

Platte Valley Plaza project manager Andy Homoly of MannRose Development disagrees with the city’s position.

“The lift station, which was installed six years ago, ran fine for years and the city has no records for the station’s first five years of existence. We have completed punch list after punch list. Every time we get one completed the city comes up with more items. At this point, it’s really in a maintenance mode,” said Homoly.

Homoly does agree that the pump station currently isn’t working as intended, and says the developer has worked continuously to determine the problem with the pump station.

"Virtually everything on it has been replaced. We’ve had pump and system experts look at it at the developer's cost,” said Homoly.

“Now we’re taking it to the next level to pay a significant cost at our expense to come up with the best possible solution.’’

Homoly explained that they are currently seeking an easement at the south end of Al Abbett’s property to install a gravity sewer line that would allow the pump station to be taken off line, eliminating the problem.

"The best possible solution is to take the sewer line that currently ends at the south end of Abbett’s property and extend it to our southern property line of Platte Valley Plaza,” explained Homoly.

Moody said he feels as if everything hasn’t been done to solve the pump station problem.

"They haven’t videotaped the interior of the force main to determine if there’s some sort of blockage in the force main,” said Moody, "which was an option that was discussed with Andy.”

Moody continued that the developers weren’t as cooperative with fixing the problem as they claimed, until the board of aldermen presented them with an ultimatum around March of 2004.

"They delayed fixing or addressing the pump station until we took the stand that we weren’t going to address anymore site plans or proposals from Bill Mann or MannRose Development Company,” stated Moody.

At a board of aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9 during the mayor’s report, Mayor Dave Brooks presented aldermen with his usual report on the punch list by simply stating, “Punch list, it’s still not done.”

Homoly, who was in attendance at that meeting, took offense to the mayor’s shortness in describing the list to the board.

"If that’s the message that is going to the board it’s just the wrong message,” said Homoly. “They are only hearing one side of the story.”

During the meeting Homoly addressed the mayor and board stating, “With all due respect to the mayor, you paint the picture like we’re blowing it off and don’t care about it. We’ve put a huge amount of effort into it and we are doing everything in the world we can. It’s not running like it should, we agree. But it’s not because of a lack of effort, money or trying, I can assure you of that.”

Brooks later took time during that meeting to respond to Homoly’s comments stating, “Nobody on the board or the mayor has said you haven’t made strides. But we can both agree it’s been a long process. I’m coming from the stance it should’ve been done a long time ago and we’re not going to drag it out any longer.”

Brooks continued to notify Homoly that, “Your head’s on the block, Andy, and you’d think after three years you could get it off.”

Brooks continued: “Andy you know what you guys are going to be making and you’re going to be making it 100 times over. And if it’s not you, it’ll be someone.”

Homoly said he feels as if the picture is being painted that the developer doesn’t care about the situation.

"The board and the planning and zoning committee are very good to work with and are understanding. But there are a few people who are portraying the developers as not doing what we said we were going to do and that’s simply not the case,” said Homoly.

“The developers and I are very proud of this development.”

Platte Valley Plaza consists of 120 acres filled with 150 homes and dozens of businesses.



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