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Backus: Council starts planning for road improvement project

The Backus City Council approved further planning for a street improvement project for 2.8 miles of roadways across most of the city. The council met 30 minutes before its Monday, Dec. 4, regular meeting for a public hearing on the preliminary pl...

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The Backus City Council approved further planning for a street improvement project for 2.8 miles of roadways across most of the city.

The council met 30 minutes before its Monday, Dec. 4, regular meeting for a public hearing on the preliminary plans and cost estimates. This first meeting acted as an informational introduction to the plan for the approximately 15 people in attendance. During the regular meeting, City Engineer Jeff Ledin of Short Elliott Hendrickson explained that the city was seeking feedback from residents on whether to proceed with plans, which include a partial assessment of the cost to residents. Residents were asked what percentage of the estimated $759,860 cost should be assessed, and what percentage should be bonded by the city.

Projections had estimated overall costs to the city and residents with projections for an assessment starting at 25 percent, and increasing increments of 5 percent up to 50 percent.

At 25 percent, the residential share would be $189,965, divided among approximately 150 parcels at a cost of $1,266.43 over 10 years or $172.07 per year. The cost to the city would be $569,895 with annual payments of $73,804.

Ledin explained that the city is looking to assess the costs to property owners according to their parcels and not per foot of adjacent property, which means property owners with corner lots will not be charged for the length of their property lines. Instead, property owners will be assessed one share of the overall cost per each parcel they own.

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Some parcels that are too small for construction, however, are not being counted in the assessment.

Ledin explained that the purpose of the public meeting was only to present preliminary plans and numbers for public review. The city was not looking for approval of the project, only approval to begin planning. The official cost of work being done will be available at a later public meeting after the city receives bids.

At the conclusion of the public hearing, 11 of the 15 present expressed their support for the project by a show of hands. During the regular meeting, which followed, the council approved moving forward with planning for the improvement project.

In other business, the council approved $750 in donations on behalf of the Backus Fire Department from Sacred Heart Church CCW and Sanborn Lake Association.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICSBACKUS CITY COUNCILBACKUS
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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