BY MINDY MATEUSZCZYK
Dayton City Council set an assessment hearing date for Phase 1 of the South Diamond Lake Road reconditioning project. The council approved setting the date of June 2 for the hearing.
City Engineer Mark Hanson presented the action item stating the lot equivalent assessment is $5,490 per lot equivalent. The total project cost of the Phase One is $1.27 million, of which $129,390 will be assessed to taxpayers within the project area. Three Rivers Park District will be assessed for one-third of the overall assessment cost at a price tag of $43,120.
The public hearing will offer an opportunity for residents to publicly share their comments and concerns regarding the assessment. Some residents have been voicing disappointment at the lot equivalent method the city plans to use for assessments. For the purposes of the assessment on this project, the lot equivalent is equal to 40 acres or 1,320 LF. Meanwhile, Three Rivers Park District submitted a letter to the city earlier this month opposing the prposed assessment. They stated the park district would need to see an increase in market value of the property in order to agree to the assessment. City Attorney George Hoff explained to the council that the Three Rivers would need to present a formal objection. He also told the council that according to state statute, the city has the authority to assess the Park District.
Councilmember Shermer asked about the financial impact to the residents and the tax rate, before the project is finally approved. He inquired about the financing of the project before the project is accepted. The total project cost breakdown includes $109,223 in Dayton state aid, $500,000 in local road improvement funds and $533,847 iin pavement management funds. Assessments will only account for about 10 percent of the funding for the project. Excluding the assessment for Three Rivers Park District, that leaves less than 7 percent of the overall funding to be contributed by residential property owners within the project area. Councilmember McNeil mentioned that after the bids are received the council has the option of where the funding would come from. Councilmember Shermer mentioned that the work would not need to start until June of 2013.
Hanson mentioned that the plans and specs are approved and the bid package assumes that the council would award the contract in July and the construction would start in August of this year. Mr. Hanson mentioned that there could be an alternate that the construction would start in 2013. Mr. Hanson mentioned that the legislation has approved $10 million for local road improvements. The decision for Phase 2 would be made in January 2013. "When the grants are let out the state would like to have the projects complete.," said Mayor Doug Anderson. "The grant money would show the progress that the city is making with funding."
The council approved the specifications for biddng the project and approved holding an assessment hearing Tuesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. during the regular council meeting.