Assessment district for 9th Street project in the works

GLADSTONE — As the city assessor continues to work on the special assessment district for the 9th Street project, City Manager Darcy Long provided insight on the special assessment process during the Gladstone City Commission meeting Monday night.

Long explained once City Assessor Janice Ketcham finishes creating the district for the project, there will be a 10-day notice sent out to residents within the district and a public hearing notice published. There has to be two public hearings before the district can be finalized and approved by the commission.

The 9th Street project, which is supposed to begin this summer, includes a total reconstruction of 9th Street — including work on storm drains, water lines, and sewer lines from Minneapolis Avenue to 4th Avenue — as well as work on other streets, avenues and alleys. The work on 9th Street will also include work on some of the sidewalks and an addition of a bike lane.

The work being done within the project was recently scaled back due to bids coming in higher than expected.

The project was awarded to Oberstar Inc., under the condition the total construction cost is kept under $3.5 million.

The 9th Street project was to encompass parts of 9th Street, Delta North and South alleys, 6th Street, Superior Avenue, 11th Street, the alley between Minneapolis and Wisconsin avenues, 3rd Avenue, 8th Street, and the 4th Street sanitary. However, Superior Avenue, the sanitary sewer on 4th Street, and some sidewalks were cut from the project.

The 9th Street project is within the Downtown Development Authority’s district, so the DDA will cover the cost of 70 percent of the project and the city will cover the remaining 30 percent.

To fund the project, the DDA and city have looked into a 15-year capital improvement bond through Robert W. Baird & Co., an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company based out of Milwaukee. The city plans for a special assessment to pay for its portion of the project.

Both the DDA and the city have already put money towards the project and have included the payments within their budgets.

A map provided during the meeting showed the parcels along the project’s scope that could be special assessed by the city. However, some parcels may not be special assessed as properties cannot be special assessed for more than what the property is worth.

Long said the district has to be certified by the assessor before it can be determined which properties can and cannot be special assessed.

He said the hope is for Ketcham to have the district completed before the next meeting so the public hearings can be set.

The special assessment process has to be completed before the construction begins on the project, but the hope is to have construction begin in July.

Long said with the delays the project is no longer looking to be a one-year project, but will conclude in 2020.

In other business, the commission:

– witnessed Gladstone Public Safety Department Director Ron Robinson present awards to GPSD officers on their efforts in three different incidences. Robinson explained a new board of review looked at the recommendations made by officers in the department and selected the five officers due to their involvement in three different cases.

– approved the City of Gladstone Utility Policy amendments to update language and include new verbiage to reflect ordinances adopted in the fall.

– set a public hearing on Delta Force’s CDBG loan grant application for the next city commission meeting, June 24.

– approved the sale of Lot 43 to the Gladstone Housing Commission. The lot will be used in the housing commission’s plan to update and renovate the Bayview and Fairview Manors.

– heard a public comment from retiree Bob Tardiff about the changes made to Gladstone retirees post-employment benefits involving health care.

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