By SCOTT PHELAN/Montana State News
Residents living on Story Street between South Church Avenue and South Tracy Avenue may have perked up last night at the Bozeman City Commission meeting when plans to fix the street were approved.
“The street is almost down to gravel, and we can’t fix it with seals and minor repairs any longer,” said Rick Hixson, city engineer.
Hixson went on to describe the exact details of the project, which will begin this summer. “The general character of the improvements consists of roadway improvements, including repaving the road, replacement of curbing, installation of storm drainage improvements, and street lighting conduits.”
While the proposed resolution is only the first in many steps needed prior to actual construction beginning, Hixson wanted to be clear how the costs would be assessed and what they would cost.
“There are four methods of assessment which are allowed by the Montana Code,” said Hixson. Those include: the area method, the frontage method, the assessed valuation method, and the equal shares method.
“We are recommending the frontage method,” said Hixson, “which would distribute the cost to the local residents based on how much area of their lots touch the street proposed for construction.”
Because of the level of traffic in the area, the city will commit to covering half of the total costs of construction, leaving the local residents to foot a bill of $309,188. Hixson said, “based on the recommended method of assessment, a typical residential lot with 50 ft. of frontage would be required to pay $5,152.”
“The costs would be financed over 20 years at an interest rate of 1.5%, and a typical resident would be assessed approximately $298.32 annually,” said Hixson.
Hixson went on to tell the residents what happens next: “The city will send residents a packet in which they can have the final vote on whether or not the proposed project moves forwards.”
– Edited by Elizabeth Johnson