Gov. Bill Graves signed a bill Wednesday that would require the state to pick up the tab for relocating rural water lines that need to be moved for construction work on state-funded highway projects.
The bill is expected to save rural Douglas County residents about $200,000 they would have had to pay to relocate lines along the South Lawrence Trafficway right of way, said Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.
Sloan, the bill's sponsor, says that four rural water districts in Douglas County will have their lines relocated by the trafficway project.
A Kansas Department of Transportation official has said the costs statewide would be deducted from highway projects and would amount to about $586,000. The official said at least two highway projects had been held up because a rural water district couldn't pay for moving its water lines. The money will come from the state's motor vehicle fuel tax.
Sloan said the bill passed the House 121-3 and passed the Senate 39-0.