City Council approves street assessments

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

At a special meeting Monday, Oct. 27, the New Prague City Council unanimously approved assessments for reconstruction work on Highland Drive NE and Eclipse Parkway.

Eleven residents from along the two streets attended the meeting, which included a public hearing. Doug Parrott of Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc., the engineering firm working with the city on the project, explained the work done on the streets and how payment was divided. The reconstruction of the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main were being covered entirely by the city while the reconstructed sanitary sewer and water service lines were being assessed. The water lines were approximately $867 per unit. The reconstruction of the street, curb and gutter were under the annually established assessment rate of $7,146 per residential unit and $9,289 per commercial unit. Residential lots on corners having streets on both sides were assessed as half a unit.

The assessments ranged from $4,440 to $8,013.

New Prague City Administrator Mike Johnson said residents can pay their assessments over a 15-year period at a 5-percent interest rate. Those who pay their assessments within 30 days won't have to pay the interest. People can also prepay part of the assessment and the remainder will be sent to the Scott County auditor for payment.

There were a few questions, but also positive comments about how the work was done. Among the questions was if the final layer of the street was included in the assessments.

Parrott said that was included, although the final layer wouldn't be put down until next spring. The layer is left off to allow the street to go through one freeze and thaw cycle to make sure there are no issues with the roads. Streets are scheduled for completion early July, 2009.

A few residents noted how the crews did a good job and made sure at the end of the day there were routes for them to drive through the area.

When asked about the life expectancy of the streets, Parrott replied that it is 20 to 25 years. He noted how city crews do a good job maintaining streets, which could make the roads last for 35 years.

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