Archive for Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Proposal could benefit Baldwin with water line

January 30, 2002

Baldwin City could benefit if the South Lawrence Trafficway is built through the Baker Wetlands.

One of the features proposed in the $8.5 million SLT package between Baker University and the Kansas Department of Transportation is $60,000 for the relocation of the Baldwin water line, as well as the Rural Water District No. 4 water line.

Both water lines are buried in wetlands, which makes repairs difficult and expensive. Baldwin had to repair two water leaks in October and November, which cost the city more than $160,000.

But the high repair frequency and high costs for repairs could be a thing of the past if the water lines are moved out of the wetlands.

Baker president Daniel Lambert said the university wanted to include some funds in its proposal to help relocate those lines.

"The cost to the city when a line has broken has been staggering," Lambert said. "It's important to us we do everything we can to resolve it for both (Baldwin and RWD No. 4), but especially for the city of Baldwin."

He said he's not sure if the $60,000 would completely cover the costs of line relocation.

"I'm not sure if anybody knows what the total cost will be," he said.

City Administrator Larry Paine he thinks it's a good idea to move the lines out of the wetlands, but the cost would be more than $60,000.

"When we did estimates for the water project in 2000, we had it around $400,000 to move that line," Paine said.

But currently the city is not aware of any proposed plans for the relocation of the lines because of the SLT.

"We know nothing," he said. "We've not been involved in the discussions or any of the negotiations and we have not provided any cost estimates."

But Paine said he hoped something could be worked out.

"I like the idea that somebody's helping us out," he said. "The likelihood of not having to spend money to fix a break is a chief value to this project."

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