BAXTER -- Bronson Road and Michelle Circle residents got a preview of what their assessments could be for proposed road, water and sewer improvements.
And the Baxter City Council Tuesday got to hear what those residents thought about the project, including the assessments, during a public hearing.
While a majority of the residents favored the improvements -- they had petitioned the city for them -- many were concerned about the assessment cost, which could be an estimated $16,834 for each of the 54 homes.
"The assessments are a little higher than we've typically been seeing in our assessable projects," said Aric Welch, an engineer with Widseth, Smith and Nolting architecture and engineering firm. Welch said the high assessment estimates are due to the larger-than-average lot width of 170 feet within the project area.
Travine Way resident Greg Thompson, while in favor of the project, took issue with the assessments, saying it was ludicrous for residents to pay for a new road when the one currently located there is in good condition. He also said the assessments aren't in line with the property value increases the project will bring.
"These assessments are excessive," said Thompson, noting he feels the city is assessing more than is allowed by law.
City Administrator Larry Kruse said the assessments would be in line with what the market supports, and that residents always have the right to contest the assessments in court.
"We feel confident," about the assessments, said Kruse, "otherwise we wouldn't do the project."
The assessments don't include other fees like water and sewer access charges, inspection fees and other permits needed by homeowners to hook up to city services.
No action was taken by the council on the assessments. The council did accept the feasibility report for the Bronson Road and Michelle Circle improvement project. If the council approves the project, work could begin as early as next spring.
In other action, the council:
Set a workshop at 7 p.m. Monday to discuss the Inglewood Drive/Clearwater Road improvement project and to look at assessment policies.
Set a tour of the city for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
Set a closed meeting 7 p.m. Aug. 29 to review the city administrator's position.
Supported the nomination of the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp. for Outstanding Nonprofit and congratulated Executive Director Sheila Haverkamp, the BLADC board and staff for outstanding work.
Approved a conditional use permit for Family of Christ Lutheran School, 2711 Woida Road N., to build a 20,064- square foot school and gymnasium.
Accepted the Baxter Middle School concept plan for 100 percent petition for the water main loops.
Accepted the proposal from Henningson, Durham, Richardson Engineering Inc., out of Thief River Falls to conduct the 371 North Storm Water Scoping Plan not to exceed $2,000.
Awarded the bid for the 2002 mill and inlay project to Anderson Brothers for $161,422.
Accepted 100 percent curb and gutter, and storm water management plan, for the Vandeputte Properties and directed City Engineer Kevin Wernberg to bring a proposal to the council for a feasibility study for the project.
Approved a change order of $6,233 to Erin Contracting for the Cedar Scenic/Travine Way improvement project.
Approved a partial payment of $157,728 to Erin Contracting for the 2002 Greenwood/Cedar Scenic/Red Pine Circle/Jacklitch Estates/Travine Way project.
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