Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
By William Kincaid
Some Rockford property owners will be paying for smoother sidewalks
  ROCKFORD - Forty-six property owners will have to pay $115,598 to install new curbs, sidewalks and drives as part of the forthcoming Front Street renovation project.
The assessments of each property range from $1,848 to $4,604.
During the regular village council meeting Tuesday evening, council members passed a resolution authorizing Village Administrator Jeff Long to send letters to the 46 property owners on Front Street. The letter notifies each of the estimate for his or her property based upon calculations by Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina.
The assessments are based on a 4-foot sidewalk at $4.25 a square foot; 2-foot curb/gutter at $11 a linear foot; and concrete drive at $45 a square yard.
Property owners can hire a contractor to do the work, based on the village specifications, or the village can bring in a contractor to do the work, with the homeowner then paying the village.
Those homeowners who do not want to pay the entire bill immediately can have the work done through the village's contractor with the costs then placed on their real estate taxes for collection over a 10-year period, with 6 percent interest and county auditor fees.
According to the letter, the owner of any lot or parcel of land objecting to the amount or assessment can file a written objection with Village Clerk/Treasurer Amy Lyons through July 5.
"People are welcome to come up to the office," Long said.
The project, which will completely reconstruct Front Street, is estimated at $514,000, with the village paying for all the street work. Village officials are awaiting confirmation of a $100,000, zero-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission. Long said the village will learn the fate of that loan on July 1.
The remainder of the project will be financed through $300,000 in village funds and $115,000 from the assessments of Front Street property owners.
Long said the project calls for a uniform installation of sidewalks, therefore, resulting in the need for many of the property owners to remove and install all new sidewalks, curbs and drives.
"It's hard for them to object," Long said he feels, because the assessments were made with the same measurements.
Councilman Ron Searight said if the village is to undertake such a project, it must be done right.
"We want to make it look nice," he said.
Resident Mary Beougher, who attended the Tuesday council meeting, said she was not pleased with her estimate of around $2,000. "That's not what I wanted to hear," she said.
Although she said she understands "it's going to make the road more beautiful," she questioned the need for installing a curb as well.
"It (curb) will make it last longer," Long replied.
Long said he plans to open bids June 21. If the village receives acceptable bids, Long said the project will commence this summer.
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