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Decision time for road repair

By Christina Killion Valdez

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

They say Minnesota only has two seasons — winter and road construction. That’s no different in Austin.

Six street assessments, which are expected to cost residents a total of $745,372, will go through the final public hearing process at Monday’s City Council meeting.

"The streets are in bad repair," said City Clerk Lucy Johnson. "Every year there are certain ones we do. It’s part of a planned program."

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The road repair projects include:

  • A street improvement on 19th Avenue Southwest between Fourth Drive and 12th Street, is assessed at $113,581.63. That cost is among the 28 property owners based on lot size and ranges from $5,477 down to $3,600.
  • On 16th Avenue Northeast between 11th Drive and 14th Street, in the Austin Industrial Park Northeast, the cost of assessments comes in at $26,252.50. There the city of Austin, which owns two lots in the area, won’t have to pay anything, while Frederick and Meridee Robinson are assessed at $11, 295. Assessments for four other property owners on the street range from $6,339.50 down to $1,705.
  • On Sixth Avenue Southwest between Sixth and 12th streets, and Ninth Street Southwest between Sixth and Eighth avenues the total assessment is expected to be $135,280.68. That will mean $4196.75 for one property owner with the rest paid by 63 other property owners.
  • On Seventh Avenue Southwest between Sixth and Eighth streets the cost for repairs comes in at $14,756.10. That will be paid by 19 property owners with the highest cost coming in at $1,077.95.
  • Sanitary sewer improvements on the Sterling Trunk Line and street improvements on Second Avenue Southwest between 11th and 14th streets and 11th Street Southwest between Second and Sixth avenues are expected to cost $125,575.10. The biggest chunk of that, $6,133.40 will be paid by McHugh Properties LLC. The rest is split between 53 property owners.
  •  A large portion of the work is planned for Second Avenue Southeast between Second and Fourth streets, Third Avenue Southeast between South Main and Fourth streets, Fourth Avenue Southeast between South Main and Fourth streets, First Street Southeast between Second and Fourth avenues, Second Street Southeast between Second and Fourth avenues and Third Street Southeast between First and Fourth avenues. The total of those assessments comes in at $309,925.97. Whittier Place Townhomes has the highest assessment, $38,516.34 with the rest spilt by 91 property owners.

Property owners affected by the street repair bills were first notified of the impending work at the initial hearing in February.
For more information, go to Postbulletin.com/weblinks.

City of Austin http://www.ci.austin.mn.us/

What’s coming: Austin City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m., Monday, at the council chambers at City Hall, 500 Fourth Ave. N.W. After a vote on six street assessments, affected property owners will have 30 days to submit written objections. Those objections can be sent to the City Clerk’s office at City Hall or e-mailed to City Clerk Lucy Johnson at ljohnson@ci.austin.mn.us.

What happens next: If the assessments get the final approval from the city, property owners will have until Oct. 30 to pay the assessments without any interest. After that they’d have 15 years to pay the costs at a 5.5 percent interest rate.

Why it matters: The roads will improve, but there’s a cost to the property owners who live along those roadways.

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