|6/20/2013 1:12:00 PM|
Surfland neighbors hear about road work, some concern over assessments
by PAUL RIGNELL
Neighbors from Hillcrest Drive, Lakeview and Interlachen roads met at Chisago City Hall June 11 to hear updates from city staff on street and curb work planned for August and September. City Engineer Steve Heth reported that in a best-case scenario, all of the work could be done in about four weeks. The removal and replacement of concrete curb, about 25 percent of existing, Heth said, could take two weeks. The road work will involve removing and grinding the existing pavement, mixing it with other gravel now below the streets, and new asphalt over that, all taking a minimum two more weeks. The timeline is open into mid-October for completion, partly to attract lower, more favorable bids for the project.
“We get better bid prices if we don’t tighten (the schedule) up too much,” Heth said. City funds will cover the first 10 percent of an estimated $334,400 project cost, and the balance is scheduled for assessment among 65 shares. Each share would amount to $5,225, payable over 15 years. The city would cover three of those shares for public land that includes a playground and ball field where community youth league games were being played. Some neighbors said they would want to know what each lot might owe if the assessments were based on front footage, rather than units or shares. “Obviously, the city’s cost would be much more than it is now,” said Chad Wynia, from Interlachen Road. Mayor Bob Gustafson noted that all Surfland residents would be helping to cover the city’s portion through taxes, regardless of the “city’s share” for this project. City Council member Marie Rivers said footage does not necessarily equate to a property owner’s benefit from this work. “We all drive down the same roads,” she said. However, John Guse, also from Interlachen Road, noted larger lots send more water runoff into the streets because of the larger amounts of impervious surface. “There are lots in (Surfland) that are three times (the size) what another one is,” Guse said. “I’m for the project, but I’m for a fair project.” City staff has directed Heth to return for a hearing with amounts assessed per front foot if the shares were determined that way, instead of as units.
Nancy Bargsten, of Lakeview Road, asked Heth if property owners would have the option of having the city’s contractor pave individual driveways. Heth replied that the city would share the contractor’s contact information in advance so that property owners may choose to hire the company for driveway work at their own cost. “(Your price) comes in a lot more reasonable than it otherwise would,” Heth said, if paving materials are on-hand. While they were at City Hall, neighbors also asked officials if, after the road work, parking could be restricted along the playground and ball field to just one side of Lakeview Road. When games are going, “you can barely fit one car through” between vehicles on both sides, one resident said. Guse, on the Fire Department, said: “We’d probably have a hard time getting fire trucks through there.” Mayor Gustafson said the city would consider a parking restriction. The city plans to seek project bids starting in late June, and award a contract July 23.