Jefferson City Public Schools is moving forward to design and engineer connecting Callaway Hills Elementary School to the sewer system of Holts Summit, as opposed to continuing to use large ponds, known as lagoons.
"The purpose of seeking preliminary board approval to move forward with design and engineering of the project was to ensure we would be ready to take that step when the time comes. But right now, we are in the very early stages, and there are still a lot of details to be ironed out between JCPS and Holts Summit as we begin discussions about a development agreement," Frank Underwood, JCPS director of facilities, safety and transportation, said in an email on Friday.
The district's Board of Education gave that preliminary approval earlier this month when members voted unanimously on a design agreement with Central Missouri Professional Services, Inc. — with a design cost estimate not to exceed $117,500.
"We're on our third extension through the Department of Natural Resources to update the lagoon or get rid of it. To update it, essentially is just about parallel to the cost of connecting with the city of Holts Summit sewer system," Underwood told the school board.
Underwood emailed, "The current extension from DNR runs through August. Their desire is for us to either make improvements to the lagoon for treating the water or to tie into an existing sewer main, although there is no urgency as far as that is concerned; this is just something that has been on our radar for the past several years."
A pump station would also be built in addition to the sewer line connection to Holts Summit's system. Underwood told the board the line would run about 4,200 feet — and a document included with the CMPS design estimate shows a connection point at East Simon Boulevard, to the southwest of Callaway Hills and the existing lagoons.
Underwood said CMPS would be the designers and bidders of the project, and would also phase out the lagoons.
He said Holts Summit currently pays for a sewage capacity of 2 million gallons, but at only 60 percent usage of that capacity, the city wants more sewage for better cost margins.
He did not say if that's 2 million gallons a day or over a longer time period, but CMPS' design estimate assumes an average flow rate of 2,500 gallons per day for Callaway Hills.
Underwood added once the project would be finished, "what we would do is turn it over to Holts Summit. They would maintain it, as well as the pump station."
"We will finalize the rest of the project and funding details after a development agreement is reached with Holts Summit. They have been a good partner in the conversations we have had so far, and we look forward to working with them through this process," he wrote.