By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Leader & Times
A contract between the City of Liberal and Air Products and Chemical Inc. of Allentown, Penn., for the use of the Arkalon Water Project has been reached. The Liberal City Commission approved the agreement during its Tuesday evening regularly scheduled meeting.
In a memo from Public Works Director Joe Sealey, he outlined the agreement between the two entities.
“The agreement allows Air Products to use water from the city as a backup to their current provider as they are the first off in that system,” Sealey’s memo noted. “This agreement is consistent for charges with the ethanol plant contract that – and this allows the City of Liberal to recover our capital cost for the pipeline – whether they use any water or not over a five-year period. We have sufficient water to provide their needs, even with full-time use.”
Sealey said city staff has been working on reaching an agreement with the company, which operates a Seward County helium plant for approximately six years. However, he said, things have finally begun to be ironed out.
“The (City of Liberal) agrees to sell, and (Air Products and Chemical Inc.) may, but is not obligated to, purchase water at a minimum of zero and a maximum of 190 acre-feet annually,” the contract noted. “Water shall be provided to (Air Products and Chemical Inc.) at the delivery point.
“When water is taken by (Air Products and Chemical Inc.), the rate will be $1 per 1,000 gallons taken,” the contract noted. “Billing will be on a monthly invoice with payment due net 30 days and a late fee to be charged at 10 percent per annum if balance remains unpaid after 30 days.
“In addition to the purchase price for water actually delivered, (Air Products and Chemical Inc.) agrees to reimburse the (City of Liberal) for the cost of the pipeline and related items in the sum of $49,637, payable at the rate of $837.28 for 60 months,” the contract continued. “In addition, the buyer agrees to reimburse the city for any maintenance and repair expenses associated with pipeline and all equipment from the main Arkalon pipeline to the delivery point.”
The commission unanimously approved the agreement between the City of Liberal and Air Products and Chemical Inc.