Willmar City Council approves street project assessments

WILLMAR -- The assessment roll for this year's street improvements was approved Monday by the Willmar City Council, along with awarding of contracts for the projects.The estimated cost for the four projects is $2,622,493, with $882,993 coming fro...

WILLMAR - The assessment roll for this year’s street improvements was approved Monday by the Willmar City Council, along with awarding of contracts for the projects.
The estimated cost for the four projects is $2,622,493, with $882,993 coming from property assessments.
“Unfortunately, like everything else, prices have gone up and assessments have gone up as well,” Public Works Director Sean Christensen said.
City Clerk/Treasurer Kevin Halliday said residential properties are assessed only for the address side of the lot. If a corner lot has a side street, that side is not assessed. Single-family rentals, duplexes and triplexes fall under the residential category while larger rental properties are considered commercial. Both sides of the lot are assessed in commercial properties.
Special assessments for reconstruction and overlay projects are for street items only. A monthly fee on the resident’s utility bill is used to help fund any water and sewer items in the project.
For this year’s improvements, property owners were charged $80 per foot for reconstruction projects and $40 per foot for overlay.
The projects to be assessed to property owners are:

  • The reconstruction of 7½ Street Southwest from 19th Avenue to Willmar Avenue and the reconstruction of 15th Avenue Southwest from Eighth Street to Seventh Street. 
  • The reconstruction of Second Street Southwest from Minnesota Avenue to Trott Avenue.
  • The overlay of Lakeland Drive Northeast from Highway 12 to Civic Center Drive and the overlay of both the road and path surfaces of Ella Avenue Northwest from Seventh Street to First Street. 
  • The overlay of Minnesota Avenue Southwest from 18th Street to First Street and the overlay of the Biosolids Driveway of the Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Property owners can either pay the assessments in total or have it spread out over several years on their property taxes, which will include interest charges. Halliday said it looks like the interest rate should be around 4.1 percent, though the rate won’t be finalized until sales with the local banks are completed. A public hearing was held before the assessment roll and contracts were approved. Several residents spoke, many with concerns regarding stormwater drainage, the quality of past projects and the number of assessments being levied against property owners. While city staff said they would look into resident concerns, the council passed upon all objections to the assessments and approved the assessment roll.
Crow River Construction, of New London, was awarded the contract for Second Street Southwest. Duininck Inc., of Prinsburg, was awarded the others.
In addition to assessments, state aid and city funds will help pay for the projects. The city’s share is $1,512,608.
Christensen said construction on the four projects should begin in June or July and be completed by Nov. 1.


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Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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