Mayor: Where are we with sewer project?


Mayor, City of Peabody

Let's go back a few years. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment informed the City of Peabody that a new sewage system was needed, as the present wastewater treatment site was not adequate.

After several years of study and discussion a contract was awarded Dec. 30, 2002. Sites for the lagoons were located and an engineer was hired to develop the plan. The sewer project was funded in part with a grant of $400,000 from Community Development Block Grant through the Department of Commerce and a loan of $915,000 from USDA Rural Development. This was to have been sufficient funding for the entire project, ending approximately Jan. 15, 2006.

In the process of demolishing the former water treatment site in December 2005, hazardous materials were searched for and mercury was found. This is a product that was used as a lubricant in a valve.

The project was extended for the removal of the mercury. The City of Peabody applied to the Voluntary Cleanup and Property Redevelopment Program to ultimately obtain a determination from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that No Future Action is required for mercury at this site.

It looked like the project was about over but during the remediation process another element — cadmium — was found at the site. Now there is a search for cadmium.

The project-overrun expenses have added approximately $160,000 of unbudgeted money. These expenses were paid out of reserve accounts that must be returned to the accounts when the project ends.

Where are we going to get the funds?