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Contract may solve Mosby’s water woes

An anticipated end to water service for the community of Mosby may not happen after all.

A new contract between the city of Excelsior Springs and the village of Prathersville will allow Prathersville, in turn, to sell water to Mosby—but the Excelsior Springs City Council on Monday night declined taking definitive action on the contract because there are still some questions over the details.

Mosby’s mayor pro tem, Jason Stooksbury, pleaded with Excelsior Springs officials last month to take action to keep water flowing to the residents of his community after the proposed end of service on Sept. 1. Further investigation showed that Mosby was between the proverbial rock and a hard place when it came to water service.

Mosby has been using Excelsior Springs water for years, but the water first flowed through Prathersville’s pipes. There was no contract for the water sales because Prathersville, which contracts to buy water from Excelsior Springs, was not allowed to sell the water to other municipalities. And while Mosby was apparently paying for the water, a contract between Excelsior Springs and Mosby was not in place because of the fact that the water first goes through Prathersville—meaning that Excelsior Springs couldn’t guarantee its quality.

A few years ago, the situation could have been resolved by a plan to de-annex land from Mosby and annex it into Excelsior Springs, with water and wastewater service included as part of the deal, but Mosby’s mayor at the time did not agree to that plan.

The contract proposed on Monday night would replace a contract between Excelsior Springs and Mosby that has been in place since the beginning of 2001 and currently runs through the beginning of 2021. The new contract amends the terms to allow Prathersville to sell water to Mosby, with rates amended to reflect current pricing, a rate increase for the transfer of water for the Prathersville lift station and an increase in the reserve quantity to make sure it meets the needs of both Prathersville and Mosby.

However, rather than voting on the contract, the council on Monday night tabled the matter pending approval by Mosby and Prathersville.

Public Works Director Chad Birdsong said the two smaller communities were waiting for Excelsior Springs’ actions before approving the contract because they didn’t want to approve a document that wouldn’t meet the requirements of Excelsior Springs—and without Excelsior Springs’ approval an agreement between Mosby and Prathersville would be useless.

However, Councilman Brent McElwee said that sounded like getting the cart before the horse. He and others on the council said there were uncertainties such as a discrepancy between the amount of water needed to meet the needs of both Mosby and Prathersville.

The council Monday night approved the general form of the contract and said they will now wait for action by Mosby and Prathersville before approving the final form of the contract.

By Eric Copeland •

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