December 29, 2015

City chooses engineer, narrows down roadwork options

First steps are sometimes the hardest to take, and the Hazen City Board hopes to get a jump on potential questions and delays by getting the 2016 road project ball moving.

Commission President Jerry Obenauer reiterated his desire to see certain roads highlighted in green as the top priority for the city board to look at in 2016. Adjustments due to the scope and cost of work could be made from that preliminary guide.

Special assessments became an issue again. Specifically, Commissioner Jason Haack questioned whether the work on 4th St., which all the commissioners agreed should be a priority, should involve some level of citywide assessment, pointing out that the road is an emergency route to access the hospital and the ambulance bay.

City Attorney Pat Donovan discussed the creation of city districts for special assessments, noting that once the districts are set, the use of special assessments is out of city hands. Those involved must appeal to the special assessment committee.

Further discussion favored a creation of a 75 percent to 25 percent arrangement, with the residents along 4th Street paying 75 percent of total cost and the remaining numbers being divided across the city. This would be consistent with how the city approached citywide assessments during roadwork in 2014.

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