Mission looking to address Rock Creek channel erosion issues

The parking lot along Martway is failing due to erosion in Rock Creek.

Mission is moving forward with plans to improve the Rock Creek channel.

The Mission council plans to vote on hiring George Butler Associates for design and construction inspection services related to a section of the channel from Roeland Drive to just east of Nall Avenue, behind the former Mission Bowl.

The contract includes improvements to the Roeland Court Townhomes parking and common areas, which experienced a subsidence earlier this year.

Councilmembers discussed the contract with GBA during their community development committee meeting Dec. 12. During that meeting, city administrator Laura Smith presented the council with two options for the contract moving forward.

Both would be considered without the potential to receive stormwater project funds from Johnson County:

A scaled-down version of the project totaling $964,235. Mission’s portion would be $620,587, while the Roeland Court Townhomes’ portion would be $343,648.
A full-scale version of the project totaling $5.2 million. Mission’s portion would be $4,855,113, and the Roeland Court Townhomes’ portion would be $344,887.

Smith said the council should consider moving forward with the design portion of the project as soon as possible so the city doesn’t lose time. Further erosion of the channel is unknown, a factor for the council to consider, she added.

“I think as we’ve talked about it in the past, some of the challenges that we see as we talk with the engineers or we think about that is: What’s the integrity of the investment, the improvements that we would be making on a smaller project if we are then waiting two or three years before we come back throughout the rest of the channel and add the additional retaining walls? Some of those kinds of things,” Smith told the council last week.

Smith said the channel improvement project is on the list of approved stormwater projects to receive funding from the Johnson County Stormwater Management Advisory Council. However, Mission’s project is at the bottom of that list of projects totaling more than $44 million, and there’s only $12 million of SMAC funds to go around.

“Our guess is we will not be moving up to get SMAC funding in 2020,” Smith told the Mission council. The city would pay 25 percent of a SMAC-funded project, while Johnson County would fund the remaining 75 percent.

Without SMAC funding, Mission anticipates incurring debt for the project, with the intent of paying it off by 2029 through a number of options, such as tapping into the city’s capital improvement funds, utilizing net bond proceeds or increasing stormwater utility fees.

Smith said she hopes to start the project in early fall or late 2019. Meanwhile, the project timeline would be intended to coincide with improvements on the subsidence of the Roeland Court Townhomes, which is seeking a community improvement district to assist with paying for repairs to their private parking lot, she added.

The contract will go to council for a vote this Wednesday.