Osage City dam rehab approaching completion

OSAGE CITY—The Osage City Council laid plans to work out the final pieces of the city dam rehabilitation project, which is set to be completed in the coming months.

At the Oct. 22 meeting, the council met with Project Engineer Bob Koopman, of Professional Engineering Consultants, Topeka, who continued discussion on the status of the project in relation to budget figures supplied to the council. The original 2007 bond had gained .6 percent interest on $2,147,570, with $1,186,825 spent and $1,078,921 remaining in the construction balance, leaving a $118,175 deficit in the bond.

“(Osage City Treasurer) Robyn (Liebelt) had indicated water fund balances were sufficient to cover $175,000 of that without finding another source,” said Osage City Mayor Quintin Robert.

“Without spending our reserve,” Liebelt said.

“I think it’s a good policy we not get ourselves too strapped,” Robert said.

Robert noted with $118,175 taken out of the fund, the city had around $56,000 to spend on engineering fees to complete the project, as well as any changes.

“Long story short, it looks like we have the money to continue,” Robert said.

Koopman told the council that a recommended update on the water treatment plant intake could be completed for $4,450, and a water sealant placed on the exposed area of the inside of the dam for $2,050.

“It’s further assurance from keeping water from traversing through a 100-year old concrete dam,” Koopman said.

Council member Becky Brewer asked if zebra mussel resistant screens should be placed on the intake during the intake improvements.

“There’s every reason to do that now,” said Osage City Utilities Director Mike Gilliland.

Gilliland said copper-nickel screens will be ordered and installed.

“I’m hoping we don’t get them in there,” Brewer said of the mussel. “The chances of that not ever happening are fairly small.”

The council approved $35,000 for continued oversight of the project by PEC for the remainder of the project, or until funds were depleted. Koopman will report back to the council if additional engineering is required.

The council also met extensively with USD 420 Superintendent Troy Hutton and facilities improvement project architect Kenton Cox. The city had concerns about the community building improvements, including the inclusion of showers and the dates of construction; and the district had come to the council for a variance on a building code requiring sprinklers in the new storm shelter gymnasium.

An amendment to section F 903.2.1.4 Group A4 for the 2009 International Building Code was quickly approved by the council, allowing the gym to be built without overhead sprinklers. Cox had initiated the request, citing concerns about the system leaking on the wood floor, as well as the possibly of sprinklers going off during a severe weather event.

“It’s a water issue more than a safety issue,” Cox said. “It’s a big concrete box, there’s not a whole lot of things to catch fire.”

The matter of showers in the new community building received lengthy discussion. Since the community building improvements had not gone to bid, the district agreed to add a shower to the men’s and women’s bathrooms.

“We’re quite willing to put out an addendum to our plans, to have them price this and see what it would cost,” Cox said. “Then we can meet again, decide if it’s a good expense of money.”

“I think the fair board, city and everyone has bent over real backwards to help everything we can with you, and appreciate all you can do for us,” Stromgren noted.

In response to questions, Cox confirmed the storm shelter and gym would be built, and are in the next set of plans expected back within a month.

In other business, the council:
• responded to a citizen concern about equality of property code enforcement. Robert responded to the comments by stating several of the properties are in the city’s mitigation process.
• approved purchase of a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4x4 with 51,000 miles for $12,750 and a 2006 Ford F-250 super duty XL 4x4 with 46,000 miles for $14,500 from Kansas State Surplus.
• appointed Lucas Boss to fill an at large position on the Osage County Parks and Recreation board, with council member Edwin Mueller dissenting.
• member Stromgren questioned the status of dredging bids. City Manager Linda Jones said the bids have been received, but had not processed by the engineer, due to a family emergency.
• heard from Kenna Burns, ECKAN, that Harvesters would be able to use the 4-H pavilion for distribution during the community building construction if heaters were functioning, tables we available, and tractors could be moved during use.
• requested Osage City Parks and Recreation Director Corey Linton bring a financial statement from the Tailgate Showdown to the next meeting.
“I’m just curious how it came out,” Stromgren said.

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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