DE SOTO, Kan. — City leaders in De Soto are laying the groundwork to make roughly $40 million worth of infrastructure improvements over the next two years. 

On Thursday, the De Soto City Council approved four task orders to support economic development projects in the city’s Southwest Growth Area. 

Last November, the city council approved two requests to annex approximately 6,009 acres of land within the former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant north of 127th Street and roughly 370 acres of land near Edgerton Road and 103rd Street. 

Shortly after the city entered into a pre-development agreement with Sunflower Redevelopment LLC (SRL) detailing development plans for the northern portion of the Sunflower property. In December, the council voted 3-1 to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Flint Development to develop the property near Edgerton Road. 

While the final details of the proposed projects are still unclear, the city will work to plan water, sewer and road upgrades to support the future developments. 

Project management tasks 

Under the first three task orders, the city will work with the engineering firm HDR to evaluate the existing water treatment plant and make recommendations for capacity upgrades.

HDR will work to estimate future water and sewer needs for the development and surrounding areas. The firm will also be tasked with researching grant and program finance opportunities for the city. 

The final task order outlines plans for the city to work with the engineering firm GBA to identify improvement needs and cost estimates for a sewer treatment plant expansion.

The task order will also have GBA serve as the city’s representative for the sewer extensions to the Flint and Sunflower projects that will be installed by the developers.

Infrastructure upgrades

Sewer extensions and road improvements will be paid for and performed by the Flint and SRL development teams.

The city will be responsible for expanding treatment capacity at the water treatment plant and the sewer treatment plant to support the new growth. The city also plans to construct a new water tower near 103rd and Sunflower Road and extend some water lines onto the Sunflower site.

Flint Development will be responsible for the reconstruction of Edgerton Road from K-10 Highway to 103rd St. The upgraded road will include a single lane of traffic in each direction with a center turn lane. Bike lanes will also be constructed in each direction. 

SRL will reconstruct Lexington Avenue from 95th to 103rd streets. The road will be widened to include two lanes of traffic in each direction with a median and bike lanes in each direction. The developer will also reconstruct 103rd from Sunflower to Evening Star roads.

The current planned sewer infrastructure extensions have been divided into three phases. In the first phase sewer extensions will be created to flow west to Sunflower Road, then southward along Sunflower Road to 95th St.

The second phase will serve the Flint development. A pump station will be constructed at K-10 along Edgerton Road to push flows east along the north side of K-10 to the utility corridor at Sunflower Road. 

The third phase will serve the Sunflower development. A new pump station will be built north of 95th St. near Kill Creek Road. The station will pump west along 95th St. to the Sunflower Road utility corridor. Sewer extensions will pump flows south and west from the pump station to a point on 103rd St. and an additional point to the west within the development area. 

“All of this will be funded by the revenue streams generated by projects on the two sites. Essentially funding plans for these [projects] do not involve any current tax mill levy, any current capital funds from the city, or really any current [funding] sources that we have now,” Brungardt said. 

Map of planned infrastructure improvements

Funding

The city will allocate $200,000 from the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to cover the costs for all four tasks. City leaders have allocated $400,000 in the 2022 CIP for infrastructure improvements that support economic development. 

City Administrator Mike Brungardt said task planning will be covered by the CIP, but eventually improvements will be paid for from infrastructure investments provided by the two developers.

“Initially these efforts will be funded by that [the CIP]. Eventually these efforts need to be rolled into the project financing plan for each one of these tasks,” Brungardt said.  

What’s next? 

All recommendations and plans made by the engineering firms will require approval from the city council before any work can begin. The city hopes to finalize design plans for the water and sewer treatment facilities by the end of the year. 

According to city staff, Flint intends to break ground on the infrastructure projects later this fall with construction scheduled to wrap-up by the end of 2023.

Brungardt anticipates SRL will submit design plans to the city later this fall. If approved, the developer will likely break ground on the infrastructure projects this spring with construction scheduled to be complete by 2024.