The Johnson County Commission on Thursday will conduct a public hearing on the first spending for a proposed expansion of the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Plant in Leawood.
The commission is considering spending $4.1 million to identify what treatment methods should be used and their cost-effectiveness. One other goal listed for the pre-design study is a public relations effort to engage the city of Leawood and surrounding property owners.
The commission has been struggling for years with a plan for that plant because of changing federal clean water requirements and issues Kansas City has had with its water treatment system.
Johnson County currently sends some of its wastewater to Kansas City to be treated, but that cost has gone up and will continue to climb because of fixes Kansas City must make to keep its storm water overflow and sanitary sewers separate. Last year the county paid Kansas City $12 million for this service.
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A redone Tomahawk plant will take years to build and could cost $280 million. If the county goes ahead with it, ratepayers can expect to see their payments double by 2028. However wastewater officials have concluded that rates could double by 2024 if the county continues to send water to Kansas City for treatment.