A local business wants to dredge more sand out of the Kansas River in a new location.
Penny's Concrete Inc. has applied for a permit to expand its operation to dredge sand and gravel from the Kansas River.
The company wants to dredge 300,000 tons a year from an area just west of the Bowersock Dam, according to Robert Smith, a project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The company still has a year left on its permit to dredge 150,000 tons of sand and gravel from an area east of the dam, Smith said.
"I think the impact overall is pretty minimal," said Bill Penny, the company's president. "I've made it clear to the city if there were any concerns that they would have, we would address them."
Penny said if the permit is approved, he would hope to begin dredging in the area in the spring of 1995.
Under a public notice issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the corps, Penny's Concrete has asked to dredge sand and gravel from the river bed 1.5 miles west and north from a point just off the riverbank at Burcham Park.
Smith said that there is no record of any dredging operation ever made on that stretch of the river bed, which he described as pristine.
According to Penny's application, the company would pipe the material from the area upstream from the dam to its existing plant downstream from the dam.
Dredging generally does not hurt the river, unless it is done for long periods of time at the same location, Smith said. Permits are granted for a three-year period and can be renewed, he said.
Smith, who described the application as routine, said the public has until Feb. 17 to make written or verbal comments about the permit application.
Comments may be made by writing to M.D. Jewett, Chief, Regulatory Branch, Operations Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 700 Federal Building, Kansas City, Mo., 64106-2896., or by calling Smith at (816) 426-2118.
After the Feb. 17 deadline for public comments, the corps will complete its own investigation and decide whether to grant a permit, he said.
"I'm not aware of any significant problems with the proposal. But until the evaluation is complete I'm not in a situation to say whether we would deny it or not," Smith said.