Wichita water treatment plant gets green light

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita city council members voted unanimously to move the water treatment plant into phase two on Tuesday.

Construction work on the site could begin by January.

“Hopefully in January, the early works project can start, and we can start getting the site prepped for the large construction,” said council member Brian Frye.

There was some debate. Several council members wanted to know if the budget is still locked in at a guaranteed price. Getting a guaranteed price seemed to be a final selling point for some council members.

Some in the audience wanted to know, as construction begins if there will also continue to be oversight for the project.

“Transparency is important, yes,” said Wichita resident Doug Ballard.

Ballard talked to city council members about the project in the public comment part of the meeting before the vote.

“Well, you just keep hammering on them because we’re talking about the biggest project we’ve ever had,” said Ballard. “I say we need the oversight steering committee.”

City manager Robert Layton and others on the council said they will continue talks to see if the oversight steering committee will continue.

The cost of the project continues to be under the originally stated budget.

The timeline is also on schedule, which also appeared to be a selling point to several council members. The city is now assured a guaranteed maximum price which was also a selling point.

KSN asked about finance.

The city team in public works has successfully submitted loan applications for federal finance. The other finance piece is expected to come from the State of Kansas.

“So we have been engaged with KDHE staff for quite a while,” said Don Henry with Wichita Public Works & Utilities. “And there is a high level of confidence that we will be successful in securing the state revolving loan fund terms as well.”

Work on the project site could begin as early as next month.

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