Assessments approved for South Coon Creek project

The Andover City Council has approved the final assessment amounts for the South Coon Creek Drive road project from Round Lake to Crosstown boulevards following a public hearing.

The Andover City Council recently approved the final assessment amounts for the reconstruction of South Coon Creek from Round Lake to Crosstown boulevards. Photo by Eric Hagen

The Andover City Council recently approved the final assessment amounts for the reconstruction of South Coon Creek from Round Lake to Crosstown boulevards. Photo by Eric Hagen

The actual assessments are much less than the estimate in the city’s feasibility report.

The 38 urban lot owners who currently have access to city sewer and water face a $2,333.43 assessment. The feasibility report estimated $2,770. On the other hand, the 32 rural lot owners without city sewer and water will pay $6,603.21. The estimated amount was $7,830, according to City Engineer and Public Works Director David Berkowitz.

Property owners could have paid off the full amount with no interest within 30 days of the Sept. 3 public hearing or they could have the amount assessed to their property tax payments and pay over 10 years or pay it off early. The interest rate is 4.5 percent, City Administrator Jim Dickinson said.

The total project cost $2,194,400.09, according to Berkowitz. Almost 58 percent of this was for the road reconstruction and storm sewer drainage improvement.

Approximately 39 percent was for a new one-foot wide water main along South Coon Creek Drive from Crosstown Boulevard to 143rd Avenue to provide redundant service for the west side of town, and for new hydrants and service lines to provide water to existing areas that did not have city water, Berkowitz said.

City water user fees as well as a $1,870.20 assessment for each of the 11 property owners getting city water will finance this portion of the project.

The remaining 3 percent would come from the sewer trunk fund at first, but Berkowitz said developers fees would reimburse the city.

There were some objections, especially from those who were deemed to be on rural properties and thus must pay the higher assessment.

“The proposed assessment for my property appears rather high,” said Dioncio Borja.

About 83 percent of the property he has owned since 1973 is wetland, he said. He owns a five-acre and 15-acre parcel, according to county property records.

Berkowitz said it appears Borja’s property could be developed, but anybody could appeal this assessment and provide documentation that their property cannot be developed.

According to the feasibility report prepared in January 2012, the city would charge parcels based on whether they have city sewer or water and that the rural lots would pay a higher assessment.

Councilmember Julie Trude said this assessment method was something the council discussed in a workshop “for several hours.”

“Whatever ideas were put out there whether it was from staff or council members, we had all kinds of different ideas going back and forth and there’s no easy conclusion,” Councilmember Sheri Bukkila said.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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