By modifying a proposed wastewater lagoon, officials hope to win support for the project.
Lawrence city commissioners hope that outfitting a 4-million-gallon sewer basin with odor control devices and designing it to accommodate a lid will placate opposition to the project.
Neighbors of the proposed Four Seasons Pump Station Holding Basin, which would be built on a 28-acre site southeast of 26th Street and Crossgate Drive, fear the open lagoon would taint their neighborhood.
Their concerns are shared by a majority of Douglas County commissioners, whose approval is required if the city is to build the holding basin on the county-owned site.
City officials say the basin is needed to handle overflow during heavy rains, when sewers back up into streets and basements. Engineers estimate the basin will be used only about once every two years.
``I'm convinced that we can control the odors through chemical injection,'' said City Commissioner Bob Moody, who visited a similar sewage facility in Overland Park.
However, in case the system didn't eliminate the smell, Moody said the tank should be designed to be easily retrofitted with a cover.
Design modifications and the addition of an odor control system would increase the cost of the tank by about $200,000. If the lid is added later, the total cost of the basin, originally expected to be $1.12 million, would rise to $2.64 million.
To answer neighborhood concerns that 6-foot perimeter fencing wouldn't keep curious youngsters out of the facility, the fencing height would be raised to 8 feet. A buffer of trees also will be written into the proposal.
In addition to the county-owned site originally proposed, city commissioners also said they would consider putting the facility on sites 600 feet and 2,000 feet to the south, if that would sway county officials. The cost of the basin would increase with distance and could cost as much as $3.07 million with a lid.
Commissioner Allen Levine cast the only dissenting vote on the proposed design changes, saying the lid should be installed initially rather than following neighbor complaints down the road.