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City approves final assessments for East side projects after quiet public hearing

MORRIS - The Morris City Council approved the final assessments for an improvement project on east 8th Street, 9th Street and Arizona Avenue after only one objection was voiced during a public hearing at their meeting Tuesday night.

City Inspecting Engineer Jay Fier told the council attendance at the assessment hearing was a "new low" that he took as a good sign for how well the project went.

All of the assessments approved for the project were less than the estimates used at an improvement hearing in October 2010, primarily because contractors are looking for work and offered low bids for services.

"The residents out there were very fortunate this year to have a good contractor at a low price," said Fier.

The only voiced objection during the public hearing came from Melissa Saks for an assessment at 516 E. 8th Street. Saks disagreed with the square footage on the property that was used for the storm sewer assessment. Fier and Saks agreed that the disagreement was over about 2,200 square feet of property, which amounts to between $80 and $90 on the assessment.

Saks also filed two written objections to the assessment. This given Saks the option to appeal the assessments in district court.

Improvements in the area are note quite finished yet, Fier said. The boulevards are just temporarily set up for the winter and will be re-finished and seeded next spring. There are also a few places where blacktop has started to come up, which will be addressed in the spring before the final layer is put on, Fier said.

Fier expects the project to be finished about the middle of June 2012.

Now that the assessments are adopted, the city will send a notice to all impacted property owners. Property owners have an open period of 30 days to pay their assessments without interest. After that, the assessment will be added to property tax statements and will need to be paid with interest for the following year.