Progress on major capital projects

Tomahawk Wastewater Facility aerial view

Year after year, Johnson County Government and its contractors, architects, builders and other partners move the community forward with major capital projects. Staff expertise and trusted partners come together to target completing successful projects on time and on budget…all with the goal of benefiting the community.

Moving forward through…

Overhead view of wastewater treatment plant and surrounding greenery

…completing a major wastewater upgrade and embarking on an even larger one

In May 2022, Johnson County cut the ribbon and celebrated the four-year upgrade to its biggest capital project in history…the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility. Originally constructed in 1955, the facility was sending 60% of its flow to Kansas City, Missouri. Completion of the upgrade ensures the plant is utilizing the latest proven technologies, better protecting the environment, improving water quality and reducing future expenditures by an estimated $785 million over 35 years.

As it wrapped up this project, Johnson County Wastewater embarked on an even bigger capital project at the Nelson Complex Wastewater Treatment Facility. The system’s oldest facility requires upgrades to renew its aging infrastructure to comply with new water quality requirements.

Initial work in 2022 included the following:

  • Began the design process for the multi-year project
  • Held a second open house to showcase preliminary images of the proposed completed facility and to receive public feedback
  • Received a $281 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan from the Environmental Protection Agency, anticipated to save approximately $80 million
  • The Board of County Commissioners approved JCW’s application for the Kansas Water Pollution Control State Revolving Fund Loan from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which would fund nearly half of the project at 60% of market interest rate
JCPRD welcomed over 10 million visitors and participations in its 10,000+ acres of park property, 25 recreation and culture facilities, and over 4,000 programs and events offered

improving amenities including parks and libraries

Amenities such as our parks and libraries are highly rated every year in our annual community survey. In January 2022, the year opened with the opening of Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s newest park, Cedar Niles Park. It encompasses 957 acres west of K-7, from approximately 119th to 135th Street.

The year ended with the unveiling of the Phase 2 improvements at Meadowbrook Park, including an inclusive playground, additional restroom and a shelter. Another addition to Meadowbrook Park in 2022 was “Gateway,” which is JCPRD’s first site-specific, permanent work of art as part of its Public Art program successfully launched last year. In between those milestones, JCPRD spent much of 2022 on various improvements to its parks and facilities, including completion of Mid-America Sports Complex Phase II, a total renovation that gained national attention and great local appreciation.

The Library saw a 21% increase in usage, with over 1.5 million visits across their 14 locations and more than 13 million circulations of both physical and digital items

After a year of construction, Johnson County Library’s Central Resource Branch opened to the public with several new amenities and refreshed spaces, including a convenient new drive-thru window for holds pickup and an expanded and relocated Kids area.

Towards the end of 2022, the Library and its partners broke ground on the Merriam Plaza Library. This facility will be co-located on a campus with the Merriam Community Center and will replace the much-loved but outdated Antioch Library, which has served Johnson County since 1956 at the corner of Antioch Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway. Also in 2022, the Library conducted a study to explore ways to refresh buildings and enhance services for branches in De Soto, Spring Hill and Edgerton.

Rendering of a new shelter improvement to the Johnson County Square

…planning enhancements for a community green space

A heavy amount of planning and discussion took place in 2022 to move forward a relatively new green space in Johnson County. The Johnson County Square is located in downtown Olathe on Santa Fe Street where the previous courthouse was located. Johnson County Government and the city of Olathe have partnered on future enhancements, including a multipurpose stage, an art garden play area, a Memorial Plaza and a space dedicated to the cities of Johnson County.