Public forum planned on street projects

In this map of mill and overlay projects that were presented to the council last November, the dark shaded streets are those that would receive repairs in 2013, and the lighter shaded streets would be repaired in a second year, likely 2014. A public hearing on the project will be held Jan. 28, with a feasibility study coming to the council on Feb. 11.

In this map of mill and overlay projects that were presented to the council last November, the dark shaded streets are those that would receive repairs in 2013, and the lighter shaded streets would be repaired in a second year, likely 2014. A public hearing on the project will be held Jan. 28, with a feasibility study coming to the council on Feb. 11.

Any local residents with something to say about street repair projects that are tentatively planned for this coming summer, along with their associated costs, should plan on attending a public forum during the next Norwood Young America City Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 28.

The council is considering a two-year plan to mill and overlay about a quarter of the city’s streets (4.9 total miles) as opposed to undertaking one major street reconstruction and utility project, as it has done over the past several years. At most, mill and overlay projects are generally only half the cost of street reconstruction projects.

The public forum at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 will include a short presentation on an updated plan for 2013 and proposed changes to the city’s assessment policy, as well as the financial implications of completing the mill and overlay projects. Time for public input will follow.

When the council and city engineer initially discussed the mill and overlay projects last fall, engineers said that the best funding option for the work would be a combination of bonds and assessments.

Under the city’s current assessment policy, property owners are not assessed for mill and overlay work, but last fall the council discussed pursuing the sale of Chapter 429 Improvement Bonds (which require that at least 20 percent of the improvement  costs are assessed to benefitting property owners), as well as altering the assessment policy so that 33 percent of the cost of mill and overlay work will be assessed to property owners.

At that time, city engineer Kreg Schmidt estimated that the impact on a typical residential lot would be in the range of $1,400 to $2,000 over a 10-year period.

Updated estimates will be presented at the meeting, and the council expects to hear the first official estimates for the project during its Feb. 11 meeting when city engineers will present a feasibility study for the project.

Following the feasibility study, the council still needs to hold a public hearing regarding the project and advertise for bids before making the final go-ahead decision and awarding a contract.

A tentative timeline shows the city holding the public hearing in March, advertising for bids in May, potentially awarding a contract in June, and actual construction taking place sometime during or between July and October.

Contact Paul Downer at paul.downer@ecm-inc.com

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