Pierz street project plans progress, Council sets preliminary assessment hearing date

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

The Robert Street and Park Avenue street improvement projects in Pierz were supposed to begin this year. Instead, the project was stalled because the city couldn’t obtain needed easements around several homes in foreclosure.

But, those easements have been procured, and the city is once again moving forward with the project that it wanted to do in conjunction with its Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project.

Scott Hedlund with Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH), the city’s engineer for the project, told the Council Monday, plans for both projects were about 95 percent complete. He said a staff meeting was held recently, which included the Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District (RPSWD).

Hedlund said another preliminary assessment public hearing must be held, since more than a year will have lapsed since the last one was held.

Hedlund drafted several assessment scenarios for the project that will cost approximately $867,101 — $592,684 for the city and $274,417 for RPSWD.

In one scenario, based on properties being assessed per lot at 10 percent of the city’s cost or $56,599.36, the 29 properties affected would pay $2,096.27 per lot. Property owners who own two lots, with their home situated in the middle, would pay half that amount for each of their lots.

Another scenario, the prices get a little higher, as property owners would again be assessed per lot, but at 18 percent, found the cost rising to $3,773.29 per lot, and property owners with two lots and a home in the middle, again paying half of that for each lot.

In a third scenario, the prices get even higher for some.

In this scenario, each property would be assessed per square foot of frontage, again at 18 percent. Based on this scenario, the highest assessment would be $6,537.68 for one property owner, and the lowest assessment figure showed $670.53.

The Council set Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 5:30 p.m. as the date and time for the preliminary assessment public hearing. The City Council’s regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. that same evening.

Typically the Council meets the second and fourth Mondays of the month, but due to the Veterans Day holiday, Nov. 12, that meeting was moved to Nov. 13.

An SRTS project update meeting was set as well. It will be held on a night that does not conflict with a regularly scheduled Council meeting, that being Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 5:30 p.m.