A small crowd of property and business owners gathered Tuesday night (Nov. 13) for the hearing on the final assessments for the 2012-13 street and utility improvements.

A small crowd of property and business owners gathered Tuesday night (Nov. 13) for the hearing on the final assessments for the 2012-13 street and utility improvements.

David Palm, City Engineer with Bolton & Menk explained that over 42 city blocks had approvements done to them. This week over 300 homeowners and businesses will or have received an invoice with final assessments for the project which cost over $4.4 million.

According to City Manager Mark Kober, assessment payments are due by Dec. 15. However, the council will allow the assessment payments to be spread out over 10 years at an interest rate of 3.5 percent per year. If payments are not paid in full in 30 days, payments are 1/10th principal plus interest per year for 10 years, divided into two tax payments per year.

Property owners were assessed for the following construction costs 100 percent unless otherwise noted. Those include :

•New street surfacing is assessed 25-100 percent to homeowners depending on the year the property was platted.

•Alley surfaced with asphalt with the city paying for the gravel base reconstruction under the asphalt.

•Curb and gutter, concrete and asphalt driveways and sidewalks.

•Sanitary sewer service.

Water main and service reconstruction is paid through the utilities user fees.

Palm gave a summary of improvements made. Over 20 city blocks had full street and utility reconstruction done, 8.5 city blocks were rehabilitated with street surfacing including minor utility repair and spot curb and gutter repair, two city blocks had complete curb, gutter and asphalt surface on previously graveled streets, five blocks included mill and overlay with spot curb and gutter repair, three alleys had a full surface reconstruction and three alleys had a partial surface reconstruction for a total of 42.5 blocks of construction.

“It was a difficult project because we had some setbacks, but it was an excellent year for construction,” Kober added. “We appreciated everyone’s patience with this project.” 

In other news, the council discussed in length the possibility of annexation of the remaining Snow farm acres. If the council decides to go ahead with the annexation ordinance 216 total acres would be annexed to the city, bringing 40 percent of the tax back to the city.

Currently the city is paying rural taxes that go to Brown County and School District 84. Kober said annexing the remaining Snow farm acres would not affect the school district and would economically benefit the city. The council took no action Tuesday evening on the item and will revisit the issue again at their regularly scheduled December meeting. According to Kober, 70 percent of the acres have already been annexed. The city is considering the remaining 30 acres.

In other news the council:

•Heard a first reading on a proposal by Wayne and Patricia Pelzel involving platting a parcel east of 4th Ave NE and north of the Birch St. Cul-de-sac. Pelzel indicated he would like to plat the far west cul-de-sac lot on Birch Street and pay all the deferrals on the property of around $50,000 to assure that 6th Ave NE will not be a thru street.

•Canvassed election results from the general election on Nov. 6. Kober added that voter turn-out was at an all-time Sleepy Eye record high.

•Approved a plumbing license for Jerald Lee of Brandon, MN to do general plumbing in Sleepy Eye.