City of Belle Plaine, Kansas
City purchases land for water tower, treatment plant
The City of Belle Plaine closed Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 on the purchase of 14.4 acres of land on the south side of 90th Avenue North, approximately a half mile east of the city limits.
The property will allow the city to build a new nitrate removal plant and water tower. Geo-technical testing of the site has been completed and the land is expected to perform well for the construction project.
Work to purchase property for the plant and tower began nearly three years ago, with multiple sites considered before the purchase was made. During that time the engineering work for the new treatment plant, tower, and water well rehabilitation, and a future infrastructure phase of pipeline replacement has been finalized. In September that plan was approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
In February, the city will apply for a Community Development Block Grant of up to $600,000 to go toward the first phase of construction. Another $1 million in loan forgiveness is being sought through the USDA Rural Development program.
Construction should begin later in 2023 or early in 2024 and will take a minimum of one year to complete. With the completion of the project, Belle Plaine will enjoy an enhanced quality of life and a healthier future for its residents.
Belle Plaine water residents asked
to complete Lead and Copper Survey
A Lead and Copper Survey was distributed with water bills for Belle Plaine residents on Oct. 31, 2022. Please fill out the survey and return it to City Hall by Nov. 23.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is requiring all Public Water Supply systems to conduct a Lead Service Line Inventory of both the public and privately owned water services within our jurisdiction. We would like to stress to you that the City of Belle Plaine currently, and in the past, has had no lead issues within our water supply system. We are sending out this survey to obtain information about the privately owned (customer side) service lines within the system. Please fill out this survey to the best of your knowledge. This information is crucial for us to complete our system’s material evaluation.
We greatly appreciate the members of our community that take time to participate in this important study. If you choose to participate, please return this survey with your utility bill payment or drop off at City Hall during business hours, Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday 7-11 a.m. If you have any other questions, please contact Belle Plaine City Hall at (620)488-3433.
The engineers' conceptual map of the walking path through Watson Park and along Logan is shown above. The solid line was approved in the grant. The dotted lines were alternative plans and were not approved. In addition, sidewalks along the south side of 4th from Main to Merchant were approved in the $338,155 grant.
Belle Plaine receives $338,155 for walking path
and sidewalk improvements
The City of Belle Plaine has been awarded $338,155 in a state Transportation Alternatives Grant for sidewalk improvements to provide a walking path in Watson Park and increased pedestrian safety in other areas.
The Kansas Department of Transportation grant will provide funding for a path in Watson Park that will loop around the ball diamonds for a safe off-street walking area.
More importantly, the path will link to Friend Street on the north, via the new pedestrian bridge at that location, and continue to the corner of 4th and Logan. At that corner it will meet sidewalks also being provided as part of a grant for rebuilding K-55 Highway.
“This section of the path will provide a space to keep pedestrians, including bicyclists, off of Logan,” said Mayor Greg Harlan, who added that the grant application was fully supported by all City Council and city staff members. “Having our children out of traffic, on a street with virtually no shoulders, is a major move to better safety.”
This section of the improvements will provide a lighted crossing beacon at 7th and Logan. The crossing will become ADA compliant and land on the southwest corner of the intersection, where the city already owns property.
The second portion of the project, with provide a path on the south side of 4th (K-55) from Merchant to Main. Crosswalks will be marked at both ends of the block.
“In the initial walk-through before the grant application was completed, the engineers emphatically said that this block of sidewalk is also crucial to the increased safety of our children,” said Maintenance Supervisor Ramon Lujan. “It provides another place for them to walk, whether going to school or to the park and pool in the summertime.”
The Transportation Alternatives program is associated with the Safe Routes to Schools program. Previous work by the Belle Plaine community to receive Safe Routes funding helped with this application, as there was proof that work is ongoing to improve the areas where people are walking. The grant application also fit the three pillars of the Transportation Alternative grant program – security, connectivity, and welcoming to the community.
The city will have to provide $84,539 in funding for the project. The money will come from the American Rescue Plan funds which the city received over the past two years. That funding was designed to help cities following the economic constraints of the Corona-virus pandemic.
The walking areas in this project will join sidewalks to be built in the project that is also slated to start in 2023 and rebuild K-55 Highway. The state added funding to the City Connecting Link Improvement Program, which will provide a walking path from Logan to Line. That path will create a marked, ADA-safe crossing at 4th and Logan and sidewalks on the north side of the street to Linden. From Linden to Line the sidewalks will be on the south side of the street.
“We are excited about the changes which will occur with these projects,” Harlan said. “It will dramatically improve the look and feel of our community and quality of life in Belle Plaine.”
The engineers' conceptual map of the walking path through Watson Park and along Logan, updated as a half-mile loop is shown above.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions on Belle Plaine's water issues can be found on the Water Page by clicking here.
NITRATE WARNING CONTINUES
Bottled water is available at City Hall for residents who are pregnant, nursing infants, have infants at home, or who have written orders from a health care provider.
The City of Belle Plaine continues under a nitrate warning, due to testing on January 11, 2023 which shows one of the three city water wells tests above the highest federal level for safety from nitrate concentrations.
Efforts to improve the system continue. Wilson & Co., engineers, have created a model of the water system and a phased plan for the changes, which will include improvements to infrastructure, a new water tower, water well work, and a water treatment plant. An October 2020 inspection of the 107-year-old water tower showed that nearly $275,000 in maintenance is needed there.
The engineers' plans for the new system have been approved by the state and a Community Development Block Grant will be sought in the latest funding round this spring. The USDA Rural Development Fund has identified the city as eligible for up to $15.5 million in funding for the entire project.
2023 City Hall Holiday Schedule
New Year’s Day – Friday, January 2, 2023
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 16
President’s Day – Monday, February 20
Memorial Day – Monday, May 29
Independence Day – Tuesday, July 4
Labor Day – Monday, September 4
Veteran’s Day –Friday, November 10
Thanksgiving Day and Friday after – November 23 and 24
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day – Monday, December 25 & Tuesday, December 26
Report street light outages
Is a street light out in your neighborhood in Belle Plaine?
Gather the number of the pole (It starts with either A or B and has 5 digits and is about 9 feet up on the pole), and the approximate address of the pole. It can be reported to City Hall at 620-488-3433 or online at www.evergy.com You must click on "Outages" and then "Report Streetlight Outage" to enter the information.
401 N Merchant
PO Box 157
Belle Plaine, KS 67013
City Building Hours
7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Thursday
7 a.m. - 11 a.m.