consultants are sandburs

Saturday, December 20, 2014

RAMSEY - Street assessment policy decision making at this year's final council meeting [readers may recall franchise fees as an issue earlier this year].

Eric Hagen of ABC Newspapers reports in a Dec. 19 online item; with partial detail within the item being:

The new special assessment policy for Ramsey street reconstruction or overlay has a base cost sharing policy of 75 percent covered by the city and 25 percent paid for by the benefitting property owners.

The city’s old policy for reconstruction and overlay projects was to assess 50 percent of project costs.

City Engineer Bruce Westby noted that under the new policy, the city would cover all costs associated with subgrade corrections, new sidewalks and trails and converting a rural road to an urban road by widening it and providing thicker pavement for higher amounts of traffic. Therefore, a neighborhood assessed for a reconstruction or overlay project will not always be on the hook for 25 percent.

Sealcoat projects will no longer be assessed. According to Westby, the city of Ramsey had already started to phase out these assessments. It was a 50 percent cost share in 2007 and decreased to 15 percent in 2012.

As was the case in the old policy, benefitting property owners such as housing developers pay 100 percent of costs of new street construction.

Interested readers are urged to consult the entire ABC item to become more fully informed. Because of time lags in the preparation and approval of meeting minutes ABC Newspapers provides an invaluable service - prompt and tight reporting of events within a tighter timeframe.

May they prosper in the new year, to enable them to continue such a service.

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