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City to seek bids for Lansing sewer project

Mike Schuster was among the 100 or so people who came to the Austin City Council meeting Monday night with questions and concerns about the Lansing Township sewer project.

Schuster told the council he is concerned that the assessments the city is putting on extra vacant lots, which are not saleable, doesn't make sense.

Later, after more discussion, the council approved the specifications and called for construction bids with no discussion.

Jeff and Lori Willhelmi also attended the meeting and questioned why they are being assessed $18,000 for sewer service on land that's worth $41,000, and has only a dry storage building that they don't want to have a sewer hook-up.

Assistant City Engineer Steven Lang told Schuster the property received an assessment to cover the cost of construction. Mayor Tom Stiehm encouraged all of those who complained to attend the special assessments hearing scheduled for May.


The council heard from one Lansing Township resident who supports the project. Al Layman, who was a member of the task force that chose to ask the city for annexation four years ago, said the group chose to go with the city instead of Lansing Township because of the cost, reliability and the comfort.

Schuster, meanwhile, walked back to his car following the council's 7-0 vote.

"It's devastating. It's a lot of money for a lot of people. Seventeen to eighteen grand," he said. "Hopefully, we'll work it out."

Once bids are in, the city is going to calculate the final assessments and hold a public information meeting in May. The final assessment hearing will be in June. The city plans to award the contract to the lowest bidder in July. Construction is anticipated to start during that month.

The project is expected to cost $3.65 million. Assessments are expected to vary between $17,830 and $18,380. They will start in 2011 and will last for 15 years with a 5.5 percent interest rate.

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