The Statesville City Council is poised to take the final step Monday on a $291,000 road improvement project in the Crawford Road Industrial Park.Monday’s hearing will certify the specific amount property owners will owe the city, which has already completed the work.Under an agreement reached this year between the city and 17 of the 22 businesses on the 1.5-mile Commerce Boulevard loop, Statesville resurfaced the badly deteriorating road after the owners raised $150,000, half of the projected costs. Now that the work is complete, the remainder will be paid back to the city by all of the 22 property owners through a special assessment on their tax bills.“Repair and improvement work to Commerce Boulevard was recently completed and has brought Commerce Boulevard into compliance with the city’s industrial street standards,” said Scott Harrell, interim public works director. As a result, the City Council voted Sept. 16 to accept the road into the city’s street system.Harrell said two payback plans are being considered, and will be discussed at Monday’s hearing: “They can either make a one-time single cash payment or pay it back in 10 equal annual installments at 8 percent interest.”The problems with Commerce Boulevard date to the 1990s, when a private contractor built both the development and the road. They were then submitted for annexation into the city.Since then, a culvert crossing that permits a small creek to flow under the highway became dangerous due to erosion, and affected the quality of the road. Noticing the increasingly dangerous condition, property owners contacted both the city and the state, to find out who is responsible for maintaining Commerce Boulevard so that the dangerous road could be repaired.At first, they got conflicting information. Eventually it was determined that the roadway was never accepted into the city system because it didn’t meet the standards for roads carrying heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks.That left the owners in a dilemma, because the road was deteriorating to the point where it would soon be impassable. That’s when they approached City Manager Larry Pressley and worked out the pay half now, pay half later special assessment deal.“The road had been a problem for years,” said Mayor Costi Kutteh. “Developers did not build to state standards, so the city could not take it over. But the Chamber, city and property owners worked to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion. I appreciate everyone’s attention to resolving this problem.”Using such an approach in North Carolina is specifically authorized by Statute 160A, which states in part that cities can “make special assessments against benefited property for constructing, paving, widening and otherwise building and improving streets.”
Saturday, Oct. 05, 2013
Statesville City Council to determine what Commerce Boulevard property owners owe for road improvements
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at email@example.com.
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