BAXTER -- The Forest/Fox drives improvement project is about to begin and residents of those two streets were filled in on what's going to be done.
The informational meeting at Baxter City Hall Wednesday was the first of its kind for the city. About 25 Forest/Fox residents were taken step-by-step through the process, as well as given a chance to ask questions about the project.
The project, installing water and sewer to each home, was prompted by several failing septic systems in the area, said Baxter City Engineer Kevin Wernberg.
Wernberg walked residents through each step of the process, answering questions along the way. Questions ranged from interest rates on the project, to where a pipe could go into a house, to what will become of existing septic tanks.
The project will begin on the south end of Forest Drive going north with the main pipe placement down the middle of Forest and Fox drives. A temporary road will be built at the west end of Fox Drive to allow residents to get out of the project area during the construction.
After the main pipe is put into the ground, the stubs will be put out into the right-of-way, then the pipe will be hooked up to each house. Existing septic tanks will be crushed and filled in.
The project should begin in about two weeks. The deadline for signing the construction easement and returning it to the city is Aug. 3.
Residents will be assessed about $12,670 at 7.5 percent interest, equating to $1,442 per year or $120 per month for 15 years. People can pay off the assessment without interest within 30 days of the assessment hearing for the project, scheduled for Oct. 25.
The construction bid for the Forest/Fox project was awarded to Tom's Backhoe, which had a low bid of $747,114. Because the bid was more than Wernberg's $672,080 estimate, sod was replaced by seed, saving $88,000. The city would also carry a 5 percent contingency instead of a 10 percent contingency.
The city does have an ordinance that addresses hardship cases. Property owners would have to meet the following criteria to have their payment altered: They would have to be disabled or more than 65 years of age; their income cannot exceed $10,000 and their payment is 3 percent of their income. Another criteria is that the property market value is no more than $80,000.
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