Corcoran weighs street projects against assessments

Opts to hold off on 2013 projects

The Corcoran City Council discussed and ultimately reached consensus to hold off on a 2013 street improvement project.

The council also discussed the proposed five-year financial plan and how it relates to the potential downtown sewer/water project, and heard that costs estimates for the public works facility were larger than hoped.



City engineer Vince VanderTop updated the council about a proposed Trail Haven Road, Foxline Drive and Treeline Drive road improvement project.

Although these are the only roads proposed for an improvement next year, the council’s discussion about how to assess for such projects affects the entire city.

VanderTop estimated the total construction costs for Trail Haven, Foxline and Treeline to be $1.326 million.

“In summary Trail Haven LEs (lot of equivalent) would be assessed $12,750 and Foxline/Treeline LEs would be assessed $15,950,” VanderTop said in his report.

The council discussed these assessment amounts and determined it is not comfortable with such high numbers.

“After a lot of discussion, the city council decided it is not going to do a project next year,” administrator Dan Donahue later said. “They want more study in terms of the costs. As assessments range from $12,600 up to $17,000, at this time they felt that was too much of an assessment.”

Donahue said the council wants to compare costs to previous street improvement projects and bring it to the present market value, “to see if $12,000 is in fact equivalent to an assessment done in the 1990s.”

The council also wants to study assessments in a different way, with another option to assess on a front foot basis as opposed to a lot basis.



In other matters, the council continued discussion about setting up a five-year financial plan.

Such a plan is necessary in order to sell bonds, such as for the upcoming public works facility project.

The city’s financial consultant ran some numbers for the plan, and discussion turned to the downtown area, since whether or not the city extends its sewer/water project to downtown affects the five-year plan.

A downtown project would affect the amount of general fund reserves in the five-year plan. The council ultimately decided if the city undertakes the downtown plan using tax increment financing, the project would at a minimum be 70 percent to 80 percent funded by property owner assessment.

Staff will relay this information to the downtown property owners to see if they are still interested.

The council will be presented with a semi-final draft of the five-year plan at its Sept. 13 meeting.



In further news, staff updated the council about planning for the new public works facility construction.

The city is purchasing a 12.6-acre public works site along the east side of County Rd. 19 just south of County Rd. 10.

There were several meetings with construction manager Ebert Construction, and it was tasked with developing a budget down to very specific cost items.

City administrator Donahue said the estimates came in a lot higher than anticipated, in the area of $3.6 million. The council accepted this amount.

“We were hoping for $2.75 million,” administrator Donahue said.

The public works committee is working to identify a project architect. A recommendation is expected at the council’s Sept. 13 meeting that will also include a public hearing about the proposed bond sale to raise money for construction.