Published in the Iola Register on Oct. 3, 2013.

City approves bid on sewer line project

By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer

 Next month, the landscape of the south flood control area will begin to change after the Concordia City Commission approved a bid Wednesday to relocate the sewer line.
 The sanitary sewer currently runs through the middle of what will be a lake after the 21st Street dam is built next year. In advance of dam construction, the sewer line must be moved. The City received five bids last month, and the low bidder was Nowak Construction with a bid of $316,276.
Ken Johnson, with Campbell & Johnson Engineers said he had reviewed the bids and found no major discrepancies. He said the engineer's estimate for the project is $317,621.
 Nowak Construction, Goddard, Kan., has worked in Concordia before, Johnson said. In 1990, the company was involved in the city's pipe bursting rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer lines between 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd streets. They also installed the pipe liner to stabilize the drainage structure running through the 20th Street dam.
 Johnson said the project is scheduled to start November 15, and be finished by March 30, 2014.
The Commission also approved an agreement for professional services with Campbell & Johnson to oversee work at the Brown Grand Theatre.
 Last month, the Commission approved a $504,439 construction contract with Martin K. Eby Construction, Wichita, for renovation and restoration work at the Theatre. The Brown Grand has been closed for more than a year because of safety issues with the grid and rigging system.
 For $16,450, Campbell & Johnson will conduct concrete testing, review the soil bearing capacity reports, observe construction, inspect welds, and review pay requests and progress reports.
 The kickoff construction meeting was Sept. 24, and City Manager Larry Uri said the construction company will begin moving in equipment this week and staging in the parking lot. Both the Theatre and its parking lot will be closed during the duration of construction.
 The Commission also approved a resolution to begin the condemnation process for a house at 1020 Washington. City Building Inspector Bruno Rehbein said the process to condemn the house had begun in the spring, but the owner had indicated at that time he planned to rehabilitate it.
 Rehbein said there has been no activity at the house all summer, so the process will continue. A public hearing will be conducted Nov. 20.
 During Commissioner comments, Mayor Tim Parker said he has received phone calls about inoperable vehicles in the city limits.
 Rehbein explained that there is a city ordinance prohibiting inoperable vehicles, but that it is a lengthy process to remove them. The process starts with a courtesy letter, and then a certified letter. State law requires that the City wait 30 days after the certified letter is delivered before the vehicle can be towed.
From there, he said, he has to notify the state to find the registered owner of the vehicle, then try to contact that owner.
"If we can't do that, we have to do the process of taking ownership and selling it to recoup our costs," Rehbein said.
 Rehbein encouraged citizens to call City Hall if they see inoperable vehicles, and he will begin the process.
"I don't like them sitting around. That's part of my job–to get those nuisances taken care of," he said. "But I can't drive up and down every street and every alley every day."
 No action was taken after a 15-minute executive session for attorney-client privilege, and the Commission adjourned to a study session to discuss water rates, the property at 216 East 6th and the floodplain map.