Wayne White/Herald-Chronicle
Overbrook City Council was presented StormReady signs last week to be placed at entrances to the city. The city was designated as a StormReady community April 5 by the National Weather Service. The weather preparedness program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of severe weather. Overbrook is one of four communities in Kansas to earn the designation. Displaying a sign are, from front clockwise—planning commission chairman Sheila Dale, council members Jim Gates, Carol Baughman, and Dorthy Chikly, mayor Don Schultz, city clerk Jim Koger, and council member Jon Brady.

Overbrook approves bond issue
for water line repair

Wayne White | Managing Editor

OVERBROOK—Relying on a state statute that allows a municipality to incur indebtedness for a public water supply system without a public vote, the Overbrook City Council approved spending up to $200,000 to repair water lines last week.

During the April 14 meeting, the council first considered an upcoming project that will replace and repair concrete structures and manholes in the sewer system, meeting with engineer Vic Robbins, of King and Associates. That project is close to commencing, with Robbins continuing communication with the construction company to determine a start date.

The council also spoke to Robbins about the proposed water line project. He said two companies had estimated the project would cost $140,000.

“I think if we put it out for bid, it will be less than that,” Robbins said.

Robbins said the next step would be to present plans to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and his goal would be to have plans ready for KDHE’s review in a month.

Discussion turned to funding the project. Overbrook Mayor Don Schultz said community development block grants could not be secured for the project and it was unlikely federal stimulus funds would be available.

Schultz also noted that applying for a government loan would take time, which could delay a planned street resurfacing project.

“My concern is that residents who were supportive of this would take a dim view if this project wasn’t completed this year,” Schultz said.

Pointing to the authority of the council to issue a bond for the water line project, Schultz presented a draft resolution that would allow a bond of up to $200,000.

Overbrook City Council Member Jon Brady said the water lines needed to be repaired this year, and Robbins noted that if grants were sought for the project, it would be unlikely the project could be done in that time frame.

“I think we need to do what we need to do,” said Overbrook City Council Member Jim Gates.

“We know we were going to do the streets … but we need to fix that water line, too,” Schultz said.

Overbrook City Council Member Dorthy Chikly said the public had previously shown support for the water line repair.

She said that at a previous town meeting, “the public was very loud and clear in stating that they wanted to ensure we were protecting the water before we did street repairs.”

With all council members present in agreement, Gates’ motion to authorize a bond issue up to $200,000 was approved unanimously. Council member Tadd Goodyear was absent.

The council followed that by approving a motion by Overbrook City Council Member Carol Baughman to direct the engineering firm to proceed with developing plans.

Robbins offered a caveat to the council’s decision, noting the water project involved only a small amount of the city’s water lines.

Robbins said the engineers and city staff had tried to identify “what are thought to be the major problems … I’m not going to give any guarantee that next year another one won’t pop up somewhere. I’m not going to guarantee we won’t get the streets resurfaced and then it has to be dug up somewhere.

“We’re doing the best we can, but $140,000 doesn’t do a whole lot.”

Also during the meeting the council worked to identify the streets and type of surfacing for street repairs. As first proposed last summer, that project is estimated to cost about $730,000 and will resurface the high priority streets in the town. Some streets are to receive hot asphalt overlay, while a chip and seal method will be used on other streets.

The council spent considerable time discussing the project with King and Associates representative Bill Jacobs, trying to determine whether some streets should have a thicker overlay, and if a truck route should be established to prevent damage to the resurfaced streets. With a number of questions unanswered about the amount of traffic on specific streets and whether thicker overlay will help, Jacobs is to return to the council with answers before a final decision is made.

In other business, the council:

• agreed to hold a joint work session with the Overbrook Planning Commission to consider new zoning regulations as proposed by planning commission chairman Sheila Dale.

• heard from Jim Foster, who told about potential problems if the city was to become involved with a rails to trails project inside the city limits.

• heard from Emery Elliot regarding the county unit road system in Osage County. Elliot said city residents’ mill levy would rise if a county unit is established. He encouraged city residents to sign a petition in circulation that will bring the issue to a vote.

• approved allowing Neil Baughman to put on a fireworks display for PRIDE on Fourth of July. The proposed site for the exhibition is at the city lake, with the lake separating spectators from the shoot site.

• directed the city attorney to draft a purchase proposal with a lease agreement to be presented to Ridgeway Lodge No. 62, which owns the upstairs portion of the city building.