Officials are reviewing the challenge of delivering city water to proposed developments that are in the works, but located beyond available city water lines.
The city recently entered into an agreement with ADB Companies to share the cost to extend city water from the former Red Cedar Inn building to the company’s construction site.
The city provides sewer service to the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, east of the ADB site. As part of the agreement, the city will purchase the materials for a water line to the site and ADB companies will install the line.
Chad Neal, construction manager for Orchid Development, who wants to develop Dogwood Plaza, a hospitality, retail and residential complex on Hogan Road, said one of the reasons the permit process is taking so long is because there are no city water lines at the site and he cannot complete the required engineered drawings until he knows where water will come in.
Officials have suggested that Orchid Development drill a well and install the lines and either sell the water to the new users or dedicate the water system to the city.
But Alderman Ed Gass cited a city ordinance that prohibits well drilling in the city.
“They can’t drill a well,” he said. “Nobody can.”
Gass said the closest water main to the Hogan Road development is on Thornton Road near the trucking company. He said the developer might have to pay a portion of the cost to extend the city water main from the trucking company to the development site.
“We have enough water in the reservoirs,” he said. “But someone has to pay the cost to extend water to the new developments.”
Orchid Development has proposed constructing a 170-room hotel, two restaurants, 30,000 square feet of commercial retail space and 100 attached villas on Hogan Road.
Alderman Herb Adams said the idea of anyone but the city providing water to users within the city is a nonstarter.
“Why would anyone want a developer to drill a well?” he asked. “The city is the supplier of services and water is a basic city service.”
Adams also noted that in the past the city has installed the water lines to the property line of new developments.
“It can be costly,” he said, citing the challenges of extending city water north on Highway OO to the Osage Hills subdivision. “But the city is the water supplier.”
On another recently annexed parcel on East Osage, city water also would need to be extended to the site in order for the development to go forward.
In an agreement with the city of Eureka, Pacific recently approved a change in jurisdiction to annex the property.
West Contracting wants to construct a 4,000- to 6,000-square-foot building for office, shop and storage for material and equipment at 18637 Highway 66 and would need water and sewer at the site.
The Missouri Eastern Correctional Center and two other properties separate the West Contracting site from the city.
City Administrator Steve Roth said the availability of city utilities is what drove the annexation.
At the June 26 planning and zoning commission meeting, Commissioner Jim Smith asked how water would be delivered to the site.
“Do we have enough water?” Smith asked.
Roth said the city does have adequate water for the proposed development and could extend water lines to the site. He said the city planned to extend the 12-inch water main intended to serve ADB Companies, 18777 E. Highway 66, as far east as the Eureka Fire Protection District training center and could extend the line to the west site.
Adams said an open discussion is needed on the city’s responsibility to provide utilities to new developments and a policy established on how utilities would be provided.
“There shouldn’t be any mystery about it,” Adams said. “The board of aldermen needs to review this.”