Holcomb considers extending water, sewer system





The Holcomb City Council heard an update Wednesday concerning a proposal to allow a property containing 12 homes located on the city's southeast side to connect to the city's water and sewer system.

JD and Rusty Farr own the property located off Scotty Lane which currently is served by a private water and sewer system. The Farrs want to have city lines extended to the property and are currently finalizing a permit with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding the type of pumps to use in the sewer lift station.

After the permits are approved, the Farrs would like to hook up to the city's sewer system right away but wait six months until connecting to the city's water system, according to Diana Farr, who addressed the council on behalf of her parents.

Farr said the six month delay in connecting water is to allow tenants currently living in the homes on the property time to either adjust to what will likely be an increased utility cost or to make arrangements to find other housing.

To pay for the project, the Farrs would ask the city to issue bonds on their behalf and then the Farrs would agree to a special assessment on the property to pay the cost back to the city. In order to have an assessment placed on the property the Farrs must agree to let the property be platted and annexed into Holcomb.

"The benefits to the city would be an increase in property taxes, and there would be some revenue from trash, water and monthly sewer," Farr said.

She said the benefit for the Farrs would be to have something in place in case something happened to her father.

Costs for the project have not been finalized.

The Farrs are working with Peter Earles, owner of Earles Engineering & Inspection, on making sure the projects specifications meet the city's standards. Earles, who also contracts with the city for engineering services, said the Farrs understand the city would come before any work he did on their behalf.

The council took no action Wednesday. The issue will be put on December's meeting agenda for an update.

In other business, the council approved the low bid of $7,600 from 5 Star Electric, Inc. of Lakin to install a new variable speed drive on the city's well No. 5. The new drive allows the city to better adjust flows and use the well at a slower pace over a longer period of time. Tom Walker provided the council with the Finney County Economic Development Corp.'s quarterly report. Walker said the FCEDC has 12 to 14 active prospects its working with on possible relocation to Finney County. He said he would like to provide more details but confidentiality agreements limit what information can be released publicly.

Citing one of the businesses successfully recruited, Walker said TP&L was successfully recruited and put in more than $2 million worth of improvements to its facility on the east side of Garden City, including about 8,000 feet of rail. It directly created more than 40 jobs and indirectly created another 100 such as pilot cars, truck drivers and similar jobs.

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