WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council voted to proceed with a street resurfacing project in the Homewood Hills neighborhood following a preliminary assessment hearing Wednesday evening.
Worthington Director of Engineering Dwayne Haffield presented the plan for the project to city council members and the public. He explained that since the project was not petitioned for by neighborhood residents, it required a four-fifths vote by the council.
The scope of the project comprises almost the entire neighborhood. Exceptions include a couple of streets in the northwest corner that are newer, along with Bantom Place, which council members resolved to be planned as a separate project due to its more complicated drainage system.
Construction workers will remove all pavement between the curbs and gutters and replace it. Some curbs and gutters will also be replaced as needed, as well as locations where the sidewalk intersects the street.
In an effort to limit the distance residents will need to park from their houses, the city has planned to break the project into many smaller pieces, working on segments at a time.
Feedback from residents was universally in favor of concrete versus bituminous pavement. While concrete is more expensive up front and will take longer, it has a longer lifespan.
Concrete will require 12 days of work for every segment, not including days that are rained out.
Following Wednesday’s hearing, the council will meet to order preparation of plans, then to call for bids. Construction will begin when weather permits, then recess in October for the winter. It would be resumed next spring and finished that season.
The city will pay for 75.7% of the project, with the remaining 24.3% assessed to the residents of Homewood Hills. The estimated total cost is $4,319,500.
After construction is completed, the city will conduct an assessment to determine the actual cost of the project. It would then hold a final assessment hearing, at which rates and terms for the assessment payback will be determined. Individual homeowners’ payments will be assessed based on their average property width, not on the amount of frontage.
Haffield explained that it is typical for paybacks to have a 15-year term. Interest rates will be based on the bonds sold to finance the project. Although the rate is yet undetermined, Haffield estimated a 4% interest rate or less, at simple interest.
After the final assessment hearing, residents will have the choice to pay what they owe within a given timeframe or simply pay it through their taxes the following year (2022).
After Haffield completed the presentation, council members and residents asked a few clarifying questions, and residents were invited to testify in support of or in opposition to the project.
“It seems like (the roads are) in poor shape,” resident Kenton Meier said, adding that he wanted the project to move forward.
Jim Henderson also favored the road resurfacing.
“We have a nice neighborhood,” he said, “and in order to keep it nice, I think we should go ahead with the project.”
Several residents said they felt the sidewalks and crosswalks being brought into ADA compliance was an important aspect they were happy to support.
Terri Jansen also said that she thought the project would improve market values of neighborhood properties. Adrian Gonzales added that he and his wife have small children.
“We like to walk around the neighborhood and we would like to have sidewalk access,” Gonzalses said.
There was no testimony in opposition to the project.
All council members — with the exception of Chad Cummings, who was absent from the meeting — voted in favor of the project, fulfilling the needed four-fifths majority.