Archive for Thursday, April 28, 2005

Benefit district explored for 83rd Street

April 28, 2005

City staff will further study a proposal that would piggyback on Lambie-Geer's required improvements to 83rd Street to make additional upgrades on the street east of Kill Creek Road.

On Tuesday, Lambie-Geer's final site plan for Arbor Ridge's first phase received the De Soto Planning Commission's approval. With that, work on the required site improvements can start for the 90-acre site southeast of the Kill Creek Road/83rd Street intersection.

As a stipulation for its development of the 213-home Arbor Ridge subdivision, Lambie-Geer is required to make $650,000 improvements to the street, including turn lanes, sidewalks and appropriate drainage. Although he hasn't yet made such a request, developer Jim Lambie told the De Soto City Council during a rezoning hearing, that he planned to ask the city to form a benefit district to pay for the required improvements.

The benefit district would take advantage of city financing to make all the required improvements upfront. The bond for the improvements would be paid off in annual assessments on Arbor Ridge homes. In addition, Lambie-Geer has agreed not to oppose formation of a benefit district to pay for a future traffic signal at the Kill Creek Road/83rd Street intersection.

The city's capital improvement plan recognized the needs for further improvements to 83rd Street before the Arbor Ridge plan surfaced. City Administrator Greg Johnson said the city's ability to make those and other improvements needed around the city were limited to fuel tax monies it received from the state and revenue from the city excise tax.

Johnson asked the Council to allow city staff to further study creation of a city at-large benefit district to make improvements at 83rd Street east of the Kill Creek Road intersection.

A city at-large benefit district would retire a bond secured to make the improvements through a mill levy assessment.

City engineer Mike Brungardt said such funding could allow for the widening 83rd Street to three lanes, repaving of the street and the addition of curbs and gutters not required of Lambie-Geer. He suggested the work extend as far east as the developer's eastern parking lot.

He hasn't yet worked up an estimate of the cost but doing that work in combination with that required of Lambie-Geer would save the city money in contractor mobilization costs, Brungardt said.

Council members recognized the need for 83rd Street upgrades, especially with the added traffic Arbor Ridge will add.

Their concern was that the work extend farther east, to Waverly Road or perhaps farther, Councilman Ted Morse said, suggesting the street be kept at two lanes and the improvements extended farther east.

They were in agreement exploration of the idea should go forward.

"I think it's a good idea to look at; we don't have to do it," Morse said.

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