Council authorizes preliminary costs
The Corcoran City Council approved spending more than $10,000 for planning and legal costs that would begin the process for constructing a city-owned community center at the Maple Hills Estates neighborhood.
The council also discussed a potential street improvement project and assessment policy, and heard the latest plans for a potential housing development.
The city council approved a Community Development Block Grant application last year for $225,000 to build a small community center at Maple Hills.
The grant was approved at the federal level in fall, and this year the Maple Hills Committee has to put the project together and get the development underway.
The city can’t be reimbursed for upfront legal and planning costs until a construction contract is approved for the facility.
City administrator Dan Donahue said there is some risk for the city to pay the upfront costs. For example, if the project does not progress beyond the bidding stage because bids were too high, then the grant ends, and any costs incurred to that point would not be recoverable by the grant.
“However, just getting to the bidding stage requires this upfront cost to obtain the necessary planning documentation,” Donahue said in his memo to the council. “Any costs incurred will not be reimbursable until there is an approved construction bid.”
At this time Donahue said it is anticipated that the project would go for bid in May with planned completion in August.
Once completed the city would own the facility and lease it from Maple Hills. The city would need to own the facility for a minimum of 15 years, per grant policy.
The facility would mostly be used for the Maple Hills neighborhood, which constitutes 10 percent of the city’s population. It would be available for meetings, teen activities, community activities and school activities. The city would work out an agreement with the neighborhood community about scheduling.
In other news, the council received an update about possible street projects. The council directed staff to prepare a survey for property owners affected by a proposed Trail Haven paving project.
“We refined some costs and are preparing a data sheet which will probably be sent to all the (Trail Haven) residents,” Donahue later said. “A survey … do you want (a paved street) or not? We’ll be making decisions shortly.”
In a related topic, the council discussed a street improvement assessment policy.
“The council is weighing the policy,” Donahue said. “Do you want to have a comprehensive policy or just one that says it’s fair and equitable. Then every project would be done case by case.”
He noted, for example, that neighboring Maple Grove does not have a comprehensive assessment policy.
“Every project is different, equitable value is different,” he said. “The council is wrestling with how much to be written in a policy.”
In further matters, the council was updated about a potential housing project, what would be the city’s first utility-served residential project.
Lennar Homes owns a site in the city’s southeast quadrant and is proposing development. The company put down $20,000 in escrow for the city to do a feasibility study for sewer and water.
City administrator Donahue said the city can’t do anything until it has Lennar’s concept plan, such as where streets and houses would be located.
“Our feasibility study is predicated on Lennar’s concept plan,” he said. “We’re awaiting them, it’s in their court at the moment.”
In other action, the council:
APPOINTED Thomas Anderson, Kevin Dale, Debbie Regan and Chad Robran to the Parks and Trails Commission.
APPOINTED Dean Jacobs and Dorothy Theis to the Planning Commission.