City to assess sidewalk project costs to property owners

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Dickinson residents could soon face a bill for upcoming involuntary sidewalk, curb and gutter work.

The Dickinson City Commission voted unanimously to access property owners for 100% of the costs of repairing or replacing sidewalk, curb and gutter adjacent to their property.

There are some exceptions to the assessments, such as the corners on corner lots, which city engineer Craig Kubas described to the commission.

"A lot of the improvements that we have to make to the radiuses are due to ADA requirements. Our thought is that those … requirements are the onus of the city," he said.

Most properties have curb and gutter on one side of the property. Corner lot properties have it on two sides. Some properties have curb and gutter on three sides. For the latter, the city will give the property owner some relief.


"One of those lot lines is their back lot line, and we don't require people to have curb and gutter on their back lot lines, so if you had a street on both sides of your house, on your front yard and your back yard, you're not required to put a sidewalk in your backyard," Kubas said. "If the city deems that a necessary sidewalk ... the city could put that sidewalk in, but we wouldn't require that the homeowner pay for that."

Sidewalks will also be installed where the city sees the need, the exception to that being where sidewalk installation is not feasible, which is to be determined by Kubas.

"We do have several locations, unfortunately, where the lot, just the terrain of the lot or the placement of the building is very high," Kubas said. "Their driveway is very steep. Putting a sidewalk in there makes the condition such that we would be putting an undue burden on some of these property owners ... It’s just almost sometimes impossible to the point of needing a retaining wall to build sidewalk."

The city will give property owners a 10-year term with an interest rate that is 1.5% higher than the interest rate for the 10-year treasury bond. If the interest rate for the treasury bond remains at 2.28%, property owners would be assessed at 3.78%.

The city will hold a public hearing for those whose properties will be affected, the date of which has yet to be announced.

"They (will) have 30 days to decide if they want to protest out of the project," Kubas said. "They can't individually protest out of the project, but if cumulatively 50% of the property owners by area protested out, then the city could still go ahead with the project but couldn't access the properties."

Kubas estimates that the earliest the project could begin would be May of 2020.

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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